Frances Ruffelle will play the title role in the forthcoming revival of Pam Gems' bio-play Piaf at Leicester Curve.

According to press material, planning is underway for a national tour of the production, following the performances at Curve from 22 February to 16 March 2013.

The 1978 play charts the iconic French singer Edith Piaf's turbulent life and career. Piaf was born in Paris in December 1919 and – after a short tragic life, scarred by abandonment, drink and drugs addiction – she died on 10 October 1963, aged just 43.

She is best remembered for her torch song classics including “La vie en rose” – which provided the title for the recent Oscar-winning movie about her life – “Milord”, “Hyme a l’amour” and “Non, je ne regrette rien”, which all feature stage show.

Frances Ruffelle's extensive theatre credits include creating the role of Eponine in the original London and Broadway casts of Les Miserables (for which she won many awards including a Tony). Her other work for theatre includes  Pippin (Menier Chocolate Factory), Starlight Express, Chicago and her solo show Beneath the Dress at the Edinburgh Festival, Menier Chocolate Factory and West End.

Artistic Director of Curve, Paul Kerryson directs. For the company his work includes Entertaining Mr Sloane, Gypsy, Absurd Person Singular, The Light in the Piazza, The King and I (also UK tour), 42nd Street, The Pillowman and The Lieutenant of Inishmore.

The original production of Piaf was at the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1979 and it was recently revived to acclaim at the Donmar Warehouse in 2008 starring Argentine actress Elena Roger. The new Curve production coincides with the 50th anniversary of Piaf's death. It also marks the first revival of the play since Pam Gems' death last year.