FRINGE REVIEW – Micheline Sings Brel


In this frequently mesmerising performance, the Famous Spiegeltent becomes a mirrored summoning chamber in which Belgian singer Micheline Van Hautem calls forth the willing spirit of her fellow countryman Jacques Brel.

Accompanied by musician Bert Verschueren, she takes a varied selection of Brel classics and breathes new life into them. And from a jaunty & coquettish Bruxelles to an astonishingly powerful Amsterdam, Van Hautem’s vocal talents and stage presence more than do these timeless songs justice.

A real ‘Flemish girl’ singing Les Flamandes, or a beautiful piano-backed version of Marieke being sung in its native Ghent dialect add an extra layer of authenticity to already superbly-sung renditions. Van Hautem’s vocal delivery is pitched to fit each song: whether it’s almost breaking with the emotion of La Chanson Des Vieux Amants, or cracking with the devilish fire of Le Diable.

If you’re in any way a fan of Brel, this show is unmissable. Even if you’re not, you may be surprised by how many of these classics you know after all.

But no matter how familiar you are with the songs, Micheline Sings Brel is an hour of outstanding musical entertainment performed by one of the very few singers at the Fringe who can justifiably call herself a chanteuse.

Micheline Sings Brel is at the Famous Spiegeltent at Assembly Rooms at 19:00 until Aug 25.

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