1971. Paris, France: a young woman faces a choice. Will she use her influence as a pop music sensation to speak out about women’s rights, or keep quiet to save her career? With a classic 60s soundtrack and live singing, this solo musical charts the rise and fall of starlet Angéle. Anne Bertreau is the star of this show, A Voice, which is at C Venues in Edinburgh for the month of August. Anne spoke with The Fountain about what was the influence behind this show.
TF: You are performing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, how exciting?
It’s our third time at the Edinburgh fringe and it’s always an exciting time of the year. It’s great to see how audiences react to a new piece of work. Also, it feels good to be swept into the excitement of the Fringe. For a little bit of time, you feel that you are at the heart of the world of performance and that’s very exhilarating and inspiring.
TF: A Voice certainly sounds intriguing, what is the premise?
In 1971, France, a young starlet, Angèle faces a choice… Plucked from obscurity by a domineering music impresario François, we follow her rise to fame, and her excitement as she reaches the spotlight. But are you truly an artist when you’ve given your voice to someone else? A Voice is celebration of breaking free and being your own person, whatever the consequences.
TF: And what drove the project, where did your influences lie?
It stemmed from a discussion with my grandmother. She’s a very reserved, dignified French woman, who once, almost in passing slipped in a story about a friend who had had an abortion on a kitchen table, in the early 70s… in France.
The world in which women were less equal than men seems so far off, a thing of the past, and yet my own grandmother lived through it. And it got me thinking about how this necessarily impacted their daughters, our mothers, and our lives today.
TF: Have you been to the Fringe before, is there anything you are keen to see whilst in Edinburgh?
Yes, of course there are shows on our radar and my tip for first-time performers is to see as much as possible while you’re there. I can’t speak for everyone involved (Julia our director, Daisy, our music producer) but I want to see New Light Theatre’s Hitler’s Tasters. I’m really interested in how they’re looking at an anecdotal moment in history and what they’re doing with it. And another show with four female leads: Drowning, by Jessica Ross, about four Australian nurses in 1991 who murdered over forty patients – and what led them to do it. Both shows, like A Voice, look at how women can be led into doing things they didn’t set out to by forces stronger than themselves
TF: And what are your future plans beyond A Voice?
We are planning a national tour of A Voice for next year, and the seeds of the next show – again, there will be women, and there will be singing – are slowly being planted and nurtured as we speak.
Anne Bertreau’s show A Voice will be at the C Venues from 18th – 26th August at 14:40. For tickets, go to www.edfringe.com