BBC Radio 3: Sunday Play
Broadcast: Sunday 24th January 1999 @ 8:55 p.m.
"Hymn to Love: Homage to Piaf" centres on one day, one incident, in the life of Edith Piaf which comes to express all her loss and
longing: the death of her lover, Marcel Cerdan, killed in a plane crash over the Azores islands on 28th October 1949.
When Edith is invited to sing at New York's most fashionable nightclub, The Versailles, she begs Marcel to fly over from Paris to join
her rather than come by boat as she needs him to be with her. He does, and the plane crashes. There are no survivors. She hears the
news as she is rehearsing for the show that evening. Totally devastated, she nonetheless insists that the concert should go ahead as
"Hymn to Love: Homage to Piaf" is more than just a performance of twelve of Piaf's songs, wonderful though they are. In anguish over
the death of her lover, she talks about their relationship, and about her life and loves.
Steve Trafford wrote "Hymn to Love" for Elizabeth Mansfield, in which she starred as Edith Piaf. This was
produced for the stage in 1998 by the Mercury Theatre, Colchester, the Drill Hall Theatre, London, and for the Edinburgh Festival at
With Elizabeth Mansfield [Edith Piaf] and Steve Trafford [The Narrator: Louis Barrier - Edith's Manager].
Music was arranged and directed by Timothy Sutton. Performing were: Kevin Street (accordion / trumpet), Timothy Sutton (piano / alto
saxophone), and Lizzy Graham (double bass).
The new translation of the English songs was by Steve Trafford and the Sound Design was by David Chilton
Directed by Annie Castledine.
Produced by Catherine Bailey.
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