Edinburgh Fringe: Isabelle Georges (Oh La La!) interview

Parisian cabaret star Isabelle Georges is delighted audiences at The Fringe once again with her trademark soaring vocals, theatrical delivery and a stunning all-star band in Oh La La!, which can be seen nightly at the The Famous Spiegeltent until Monday, 29 August. Isabelle leads us through a repertoire of French, English and German songs featuring the music of Brel, Bécaud, Piaf, Aznavour and more. Along with musical director and vocalist Frederik Steenbrink, Isabelle’s sultry resonating voice takes us through stories of love, survival and dreams in an unbeatable mixture of jazz, cabaret and pop. AAA caught up with Isabelle for a chat earlier this week.

How has your Fringe been so far?

Oh La La! Crazy, ‘fantastique’, challenging and so inspiring!

 Tell us about the show you’re in…

My show is named after this unique ‘French’ expression that encompasses every single reaction one can possibly experience in life, Oh La La! It is a musical journey through the French repertoire, both in French and English, packed with emotions, that should leave the audience invigorated and ready to take on the world!

 What’s the audience reaction been like?

Fantastique!

 When did you first realise you could sing?

When I was in hospital as a kid, 5-8 years old, my mum made me sing every time I was in pain and from that moment on, I guess singing became the key for me. A way to transcend and transform any trouble into joy!

 Which singers influenced you growing up?

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…

That’s why I adore mixing the storytelling of French repertoire with the virtuosity of classical or jazz adding depth and emotion to the audiences’ experience.

 Are there any other shows on this year’s Fringe you’d recommend?

Once at Assembly George Square, The McLaureen’s tale by Christine Khandjian at Spotlites (children show) and Joe Stilgoe Songs on film.

 What’s on your hit-list to see?

La Clique, Alan Cumming and James Thierrée, The Toad Knew.

 What do you like to do in Edinburgh on your day off?

I had no day off! But during the day before the show I love walking in Edinburgh “nez au vent” like we say in French, improvising, discovering this amazing city and seeing other shows!

 Can you recommend a bar or restaurant in Edinburgh?

A bistro, Eden’s Kitchen on Broughton Street, and a restaurant I love, the Witchery by the Castle, on the The Royal Mile.

 What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen this year?

Seven hours’ rehearsal in the Marx Brothers’ cabin!

 Sell your show in no more than ten words….

Songs, love, passion, joy, stories, all-star band, Oh La la!

 Oh La La, The Famous Spiegeltent (Venue 87), 7.45pm, until 29 Aug, www.edfringe.com

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