Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A la Piaf

Monday night, a chilly and wet night, with the final concert of the St Christopher Festival programmed for the courtyard of the Teacher's Palace. Having just got back to an empty cupboard from Germany I'd had a cold beetroot soup and a beer outside some cafe and was thoroughly chilled. Rushed home, threw on lots of warmer clothes - and then found the concert was in St Catherine's church. Since it was the closing concert of the festival (of 62 concerts, including an organ, a guitar, a piano and a harp mini-festival!) everyone who was anyone was in the audience.

It was an evening of 13 (13??) Piaf chansons. This is a show that has been running at the National Drama Theatre for a number of years, and this time translated into the church (or the courtyard, as should have been). It was fun - the singer, Evelina Sasenko had a nice voice, the band played well, and the two dancers, Jurgita Liaugaudeite and Deividas Meskauskas, were wonderful.

And yet, and yet. It lacked a certain 'je ne sais quoi'. Je sais très bien que se manquait. It was just a bit stiff - the songs were sung straight down the page, with limited added personality or risk-taking; Sasenko's dancing was also a bit stiff, and her accent could really have done with that very sexy French 'r'. Her rather dishy producer, though, was brilliant, when he sang at the end.

Then again, it was a lovely way to end the concert season. Welldone, St Christopher! One request - next year, could we have a wind festival, too? Brass? We hardly ever hear any here....