Guest Blog at the Edinburgh Fringe 2022: Stefanie Rummel, a bar stool and a stand for a glittering costume

Performing in at the Edinburgh Fringe for the first time has so many facettes.The theatre I am in is the Roman Eagle Lodge which is called at the Fringe C aquila temple right at the edge of the Johnston Terrace.When you enter the foyer… there are chandeliers. Then you go all the way upstairs and are in a really nice theatrical hall with red and golden chairs, a high ceiling with decorations in red and gold and wooden walls. We created the lighting in a cabaret like atmosphere.

A bar stool and a stand for a glittering costume create the scene.The core colours I have used are red and black. A costume designer came one night and told me that it all fits perfectly together.Even the tiny little details are well chosen, she said. I wear a silk jacket with embroideries and a black elegant shiny trouser and a top. 

When the audience comes in I welcome them personally. I brought some fresh lavender from the south of France which I give to the audience as a gift.”I welcome them to my home, my stage” that is how an audience member described it this week. I take a moment to breathe and to concentrate before the show starts and then lights go and and the music starts. 

The first song I sing is ‘Padam’ from Edith Piaf. It is about love which appears in so many facets. It makes our heart pound…Then I talk about sayings, nicknames in a very interactive way. I see smiles, I hear giggles, I feel a connection to the audience.Personal stories from my life in France connects to the facets of the culture we live in.Topics such as hospitality, childhood memories, food, taking time, traditions,… are looked at.

Thoughts are exchanged what makes us human, what creates culture, what do we share?Beyond borders and languages art and music connects us in a deeper way.We sing a together a canon everybody knows, because music travels the world so easily.That song I sing in 16 languages. I let the audience think about how they take charge of their own time in life. Then I sing “Autumn Leaves”.After this song a man got up – went to the stage – bowed – he said “This was so beautiful!” – he had tears in his eyes –  he placed a ring on the stage as a gift for me… I do not know who he is, he told me that he had to leave earlier but me and the audience were impressed by this special moment.
 I sing French songs that travelled the world.

Often the audience does not know that the songs I sing have a French origin. There are some unexpected turns in my show. To create a language bridge I sing the songs in English and French or I give a summary about the content of the song. Also my own song creations are part of the show. During Covid I produced a song in my newly created home studio about what impact art has on us.It is a multidimensional creation of a song with a new approach of visualisation. I myself am German but I have lived in France and have roots there since my childhood. I integrate my origin in two songs of my show.It gives it a more diverse and international angle. 

My musical cabaret ‘Chansons’ reflects on how we as human beings are and how we interact with others. On a broader scale it is about being a European or even better a World Citizen. If we stay curious of each other and connect there will be more understanding.By looking at other cultures, we reflect ourselves more and get to know ourselves more. The show has a deeper impact on my audience.

Have a look at what Barbara Gruber wrote as an audience review on the Fringe website about my Chansons.“This was such a beautifully unexpected pleasure. My friend had an extra ticket and invited me along to a show I wouldn’t have attended otherwise. From the minute the lights went down, Stefanie Rummel created an atmosphere so moving, so nostalgic and electric, we were all spellbound. Not many performers make me cry, or smile through those tears, ( I hate feeling like I am being manipulated, and no, I did NOT cry at Love Story) but this show was exquisitely masterful and genuine .

Go see it. Take some tissues. You didn’t know you wanted to see a cabaret show – but you did.” I give you one more example: ‘At my premiere – a gentleman from London – gave me standing ovations – he then spoke up in front of everyone – he said – he had 3-4 miserable weeks – he also said that my show changed something in his mind – he will leave the theatre with a smile.’ To have such kind of impact on people who come to my show for one hour is the most wonderful experience, I can have. I am gracious about it. That is one of the core reason why I create shows. 

My next musical cabaret ‘Chansons’ you can see every day at 5:45 pm at C aquila temple – Roman Eagle Lodge, 2 Johnston Terrace. I am looking forward to meet you there and to exchange thoughts of life. 

Edinburgh Fringe: 5th to the 21st of August 2022 
Duration: 17:45 (60 min.)
Venue  C ARTS | C venues 21| C aquila temple 
Roman Eagle Lodge, 2 Johnston Terrace, Edinburgh EH1 2PW
Admission fee: : £8-£10 (concessions available)

Further show information: Bienvenue to Chansons, the musical intercultural show.  Soul-touching stories about life and passion, from ‘Ne me quitte pas’ (Brel) to ‘Milord’ (Piaf). Live life the French way for one night, without travelling or jetlag. It doesn’t matter if you speak French or not – all is explained in English.

This piece inspires our own lives by looking at other cultures. Sung and performed in brilliant showmanship by Stefanie Rummel and her pianists. It was seen in theatres and cabarets in France,  Germany, Iceland, Finland, UK and US. ‘Great chansons… passionate feelings’ (Rheingauer Echo).  

“Rummel’s voice is outstanding: it moves from delicate, lingering notes (in a superb cover of Autumn Leaves) to real moments of joie de vivre in Rummel’s take on the Piaf classic, L’Accordeoniste.” **** The Reviews Hub – Helen Tope

 “A fascinating show, comfortably paced and with the right amount of history, songs and personal anecdotes, it held my attention despite me being far from fully conversant in French.”  Review LondonTheatre1 by Chris Omaweng (4 Star Review ****