Cabaret Fringe Festival
La Bohème
Until 25 Jun 2014

Review by Jamie Wright

Biographical shows are commonplace around both the cabaret scene; they usually involve the same format: songs by the artist, interspersed by amusing/touching stories about their lives. "Exposing Edith" is of that ilk, and the Edith in question is France's national diva, the 'little sparrow' – the legendary Édith Piaf.

The almost-as-diminutive-as-the-woman-she's-honouring Michaela Burger is simply amazing in her renditions – almost all in French, with the occasional translated verse here and there – of Piaf's biggest numbers. Accompanied on guitar by Greg(oir) Wain, the pair all-but blow the roof off La Boheme with songs such as "Mon légionnaire", "La Fille de Joie Est Triste (L'Accordéoniste)" and (of course)"La Vie en rose".

Anecdotes, too, are a cut above the usual; Burger's capacity for storytelling matches her passion for Piaf's life, and her strong stage presence makes her stories about the star's fascinating life – a veritable rollercoaster of ups and downs – captivating.

While this show might take on a standard format, it is anything but standard in its realisation. Great choices in both song and story, excellent arrangements and brilliant performances make this an absolute cracker of a show, for both Piaf fans and those unfamiliar with her work.