Oh La La! Starring Isabelle Georges Assembly Checkpoint

Get your glass of vin rouge at the ready and get in the queue early to grab a seat at one of the tables at the front of the stage. That way you will really be able to transport yourself into the magical atmosphere of a genuine Parisian cabaret show with Parisian singer Isabelle Georges and a talented five piece band.

Georges immediately makes a big impression – she is tall and striking with her cropped red hair, a huge smile and an amazingly powerful voice. The songs are very different to the usual well known Piaf/Brel fare we might be used to from other French cabaret performers. Yes, there is a bit of Brel and Piaf but very different interpretations and arrangements. There are sad songs, happy songs, shockingly brutal songs – all of them are prefaced by a little homily on feelings and relationships before she pours her heart and soul into each one. There are songs in English, French and even German, and a range of French composers most of whom I have never heard of but which intrigue me to find out more. The songs all have a story to tell and she tells them brilliantly. The musicians on piano, double bass, sax and guitars are the perfect accompaniment.

This is Georges’ fourth visit to the Edinburgh Fringe but the first time with this show. Her previous shows have included one on Judy Garland and one on Broadway musicals and you can tell she has a diverse musical background. She is a well-known singer and artiste in Paris and the number of French people in the audience bear that out. By the end of the show, especially after joining in with a chorus of Piaf’s Padam Padam, I think we all felt a bit French. Oh la la indeed

Irene Brownlee