After opening on June 17 at Dunstan Playhouse for the 2022 Adelaide Cabaret Festivall to great acclaim and a standing ovation, Love on the Left Back returned to the 2023 Adelaide Fringe for four shows only.
In Love on the Left Bank, actress and singer Louise Blackwell brings to life the inspiring story of Frenchsinger Juliette Gréco. It is a musical celebration of love, life and liberty as it occurred in the Left Bank of Paris at the time of its liberation from Nazi German occupation. Backed by a superb 6-piece band led by musical director Mark Simeon Ferguson, Louise performs songs which evoke the joy and revelry of liberation as it occurred in the legendary underground clubs of Saint Germain des Prés, the bohemian district where Juliette found refuge during the war.
Charismatic, free-spirited and talented, she was adopted by the older guard of culture and ideas, it was indeed Jean-Paul Sartre who encouraged her to become a singer.
Philosophers, writers and artists gathered round Juliette as she made her debuts in cabaret nights that presented a myriad of different performers, poets and musical acts. It was here that American jazz musicians escaped the racism back home and where the love story between Juliette and Miles Davis played out.
Juliette became part of Paris’s most exciting new voices, promoting freedom and artistic expression and she is still known as the muse of Saint Germain des Prés.
Writer/creator -Louise Blackwell
Director – Catherine Fitzgerald
Musical Director – Mark Simeon Ferguson
Louise Blackwell – narrator/Juliette
Mark Simeon Ferguson – piano
Lazaro Numa – trumpet
Julian Ferraretto – violin/trombone
Tom Pulford – sax/clarinet/flute
John Aué – double bass
Josh Baldwin – drums
Chloe Saler – stage manager
Blackwell’s first foray into the Adelaide Cabaret Festival was a masterclass in how true storytelling is done and that the fanfare that accompanied so many other productions, is redundant on a show like this as the quality of what is being delivered truly speaks for itself.Matthew Hocter
As Sartre said, Greco has a million poems in her voice and Blackwell enchants with just a taste of this amazing chanteuse’s life and career. It would be a shame if this captivating one night performance of Love on the Left Bank could not be revived for further standing ovations for Louise Blackwell and her band.Peter Wilkins, Canberra Critics Circle