Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Oh Là Dramaturgy: Isabelle Georges @ Edfringe 2015

Come See Entertainment presents:
Assembly – Checkpoint, Bristo Place 
Time: 7.25pm
Dates: 8th – 30th August (except 12th, 17th 24th)   

Oh Là Là starring Parisian cabaret artist Isabelle Georges will be making its worldwide première at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival at the Assembly Checkpoint. 

Isabelle returns with her trademark soaring vocals and theatrical delivery alongside a stunning five-piece band that marks her 4th Edinburgh Festival appearance. She will lead you on a passionate journey through the French repertoire and beyond, featuring the music of Brel, Bécaud, Piaf, Aznavour and more. Along with musical director and vocalist Frederik Steenbrink she bursts through stories of love, survival and dreams in an unbeatable mixture of jazz, cabaret and pop. 

What inspired this production: did you begin with an idea or a script or an object?
Isabelle Georges: I began with Oh Là Là!, a French expression my grand mother used when she was telling me stories about a cabaret in Paris, l’Ecluse, where she played the piano and where some of the finest French artists started. Singers but also stand-up acts, musicians, actors… It was a place of intense creativity where artists developed their skills and personality in front of a live audience.

Why bring your work to Edinburgh?
To be in touch with an international audience and to push limits. I always have the feeling you have to go where the challenge is. Also traveling the world with my work is very important to me… And Edinburgh is such an inspiring place.

What can the audience expect to see and feel - or even think - of your production?
If all goes well, they will experience a journey packed with emotions, leaving them invigorated and ready to take on the world!

The Dramaturgy Questions

How would you explain the relevance - or otherwise - of dramaturgy within your work?
My show is a concert so I won’t talk about dramaturgy but there is a ‘fil rouge’, everything is there for a reason… subtle or obvious. I see it as a collection of emotions all coming at you at once. Maybe not making sense to start with, but all becoming apparent as we continue our musical journey.

What particular traditions and influences would you acknowledge on your work - have any particular artists, or genres inspired you and do you see yourself within their tradition?
My influences are extremely varied. I was very fortunate to be raised in a family where Barbara, Nougaro, Aznavour, Brel, Greco, Jacques Prévert, Raymond Devos, were listen to alongside Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, fats Waller, Peter Paul and Mary, The Beatles, Billy Holliday, Bernstein, Verdi, Mozart, Bach, Belafonte, Prince, Michael Jackson, Opera, ballet, musicals, theatre… 
I adore mixing the story telling of French repertoire with the virtuosity of Classical or jazz adding depth and emotion to the audiences’ experience.

Do you have a particular process of making that you could describe - where it begins, how you develop it, and whether there is any collaboration in the process?
I always start with an idea or a word that obsesses me, in this case Oh Là Là!. This unique ‘French’ expression that encompasses every single reaction one can possibly experience in life.

Then with that word or idea in mind I write and listen to hundreds of songs. As my choices become obvious, my musical director, Frederik Steenbrink, and I try them with piano and voice in order to decide whether they should be arranged or improvised with our musicians first.

Then, with all this in mind, I write texts, read, walk …

Finally, just like a puzzle I begin making sense of the songs, texts, and choreography. 

For Oh Là Là! I also worked with Maury Yeston who adapted a famous Aznavour song for me into English and Simon Porter, British but living in Paris, who adapted Prévert and Nougaro for me and with whom I also work on the links between the musical numbers.

What do you feel the role of the audience is, in terms of making the meaning of your work? 
An audience is a friend, a partner in crime and a revealing source. Every night is a different experience and that’s what makes it special.

Isabelle grew up in Paris listening to her mother’s vocal exercises, her grandmother’s scales and the marvelous stories that her father told her. She took to the stage for the first time with the Victor Cuno company in ‘From Harlem to Broadway’, and then performed in ‘Marilyn de Montreuil’, ‘Chère Daisy’, ‘Happy Feet’, ‘Phi Phi’ and ‘La Crise est Finie’, thus becoming a “triple threat:" a singer, dancer and actress. “When I was a kid, my grand mother, piano player and composer, used to tell me all about l’Écluse, this Parisian cabaret where she had often performed and in which, on a stage as big as a confetti everything was possible…” 

‘Every inch a star’   THE SCOTSMAN

She has played a string of lead roles that include ‘Barnum’ (Jean Paul Lucet/Les Célestins Lyon), ‘Le Passe Muraille’ (Michel Legrand/Les Bouffes Parisiens Paris), ‘Nymph Errant’ (Rodger Redfarn/Chichester Festival- UK), ‘Singin’ In the Rain’ (Jean-Louis Grinda/ORW Belgium & Théâtre de la Porte Saint Martin Paris), ‘La Périchole’ (Jérôme Savary/Théâtre National de Chaillot Paris), ‘L’Air de Paris’ opposite Patrick Dupond (Thierry Harcourt/Théâtre Le Comédia Paris), ‘Et Si On Chantait’ (David Bréval/Espace Pierre Cardin Paris) and ‘Titanic the Musical’ (Jean-Louis Grinda/ORW Belgium), where she met Maury Yeston and Frederik Steenbrink.

‘Stunning singing. Isabelle Georges' voice is soft and rich as honey... One of the most exciting contemporary French singers of her generation...’ FRINGE REPORT

Inspired by Daniel Klajner and Norbert Glanzberg's biography she wrote ‘Padam Padam’ with Jean-Luc Tardieu's help, which became one of the biggest successes in Paris in 2011. The same year Isabelle was the special guest of Victoires de la Musique Classique and of the 40th anniversary celebration of Chorégies d’Orange, before 9,000 people and 2 million TV viewers. Isabelle also won the Charles Oulmont Foundation prize that year. In 2012 she was the special guest of the Radio Classique Festival in Olympia in Paris. Now in 2015 prior to the Edinburgh Fringe she will play Mrs C in the Musical adaptation of Stefan Zweig's novel, ‘24 Hours in a Woman's Life’ in theatre La Bruyère in Paris.

‘Sparkles like a cheeky champagne’ BROADWAY BABY

Come See Entertainment: was founded in 1996 by Frederik Steenbrink named after his first composition: "J’ai Fait Comme Si." It has produced and co-produced several musical shows such as ‘J’ai Fait Comme Si ‘(Sentier des Halles, Paris), ‘Les Filles De La Rue de Rennes’ (Espace la Comédia, Paris), Maury Yeston's ‘December Songs’ with Isabelle Georges (Théâtre du Renard, Paris), Herman van Veen's ‘Mata Hari’ and ‘Chapeau’ (Théâtre du Renard and Salle Gaveau), ‘Une Étoile et Moi’ and ‘La French Touch’ with Isabelle Georges (Edinburgh Fringe Festival). They produced ‘Padam Padam’ (2010) which ran for 225 performances in three main Parisian venues (Théâtre La Bruyère, Théâtre des Mathurins, Théâtre de la Gaîté Montparnasse) and ‘Broadway Enchanté’ (2012) which ran for 118 performances (Théâtre La Bruyère, Théâtre Déjazet) and ‘Chante’ (2014) which ran for 44 performances (Théâtre Déjazet). All shows have toured internationally in France, Belgium, The Netherlands, the UK and Australia.

No comments :

Post a Comment