Que c’est beau! New production images reveal the beautiful Parisian streets of Piaf at Leeds Playhouse

West End star Jenna Russell singing expressively in a rehearsal room with the company of Piaf in the background

New images reveal the atmospheric nightlife of Edith Piaf’s Paris as West End star Jenna Russell and the rest of the PIAF company prepare for their two-week run at Leeds Playhouse from 27 July to 7 August.

A full set of production images is available here

Leeds Playhouse and Nottingham Playhouse’s co-production of Pam Gems’ sensational musical play tells the extraordinary life story of the world-renowned chanteuse Edith Piaf.

Tony-nominated and Olivier Award-winning actress Jenna Russell takes the title role, with Sally Ann Triplett as Toine – Piaf’s close friend and trusted confidante.

The rest of the company comprises: Olivier Award-nominated actress Laura Pitt-Pulford as Marlene Dietrich; Garry Robson as Louis Leplee, the nightclub owner who discovered Piaf; Louis Gaunt as Piaf’s husband Theo; Samuel James as Bruno, owner and manager of the Paris Olympia; Matthew Woodyatt as Raymond; Joseph Prowen as Louis; and Zheng Xi Yong as Lucien.

PIAF director Adam Penford leads a creative team that includesDesigner Frankie Bradshaw; Lighting Designer Jack Knowles; Sound Designer Ella Wahlström; MD, Arranger and Orchestrator Gareth Valentine; Movement Director Georgina Lamb; Dialect Coach Félicité du Jeu; and Casting Director Will Burton.

PIAF, Courtyard Theatre, Leeds Playhouse

23 July – 7 August

Book online at leedsplayhouse.org.uk

Book by phone on 0113 213 7700

Click here for production images. Please note that this link will expire on 27 July.

Jo Haywood, Media Officer[email protected] | 0113 213 7272 | 07957 181586

Editor’s notes

Leeds Playhouse has been welcoming audiences for 50 years. As a registered charity (No. 255460), the theatre creates work that is pioneering and relevant, seeking out the best companies and artists to create inspirational theatre in the heart of Yorkshire. The Playhouse recently underwent a £16m transformation which includes improved access to and around the theatre, a new city-facing entrance and the addition of a new studio theatre, the Bramall Rock Void.
A dedicated collaborator, Leeds Playhouse works with distinctive, original voices from across the UK. Its Artistic Development programme, Furnace, discovers, nurtures and supports new voices, while developing work with established practitioners. It provides a creative space for writers, directors, companies and individual theatre-makers to refine their practice at all stages of their careers.
The sector-leading Creative Engagement team works with more than 12,000 people aged 4–95 every year, a practice which continued throughout the last challenging year via PLAYHOUSE CONNET. The team connect with refugee communities, young people, teachers and students, older people and people with learning disabilities, as well as working with people in specific areas of the city. The Playhouse pioneered Relaxed Performances ten years ago and, more recently, developed Dementia-Friendly performances, both of which are becoming the norm across the industry.
The Autumn Winter season at Leeds Playhouse will showcase a thrilling, engaging and diverse range of productions, including: the world premiere of FREEDOM PROJECT written by Luke Barnes in response to research with young people seeking asylum and directed by Alexander Ferris; DRACULA: THE UNTOLD STORY, a Leeds Playhouse and imitating the dog co-production; a filmed sharing of the highly-acclaimed Leeds Playhouse and Ramps On The Moon production of OLIVER TWIST adapted by Bryony Lavery and directed by Amy Leach; a Leeds Playhouse and Headlong co-production of August Wilson’s JITNEY directed by Tinuke Craig; the return of FURNACE FESTIVAL with its programme of skills workshops, conversations and social events; and a Christmas co-production between Leeds Playhouse and Bunkamura of Ella Hickson’s WENDY & PETER PAN, adapted from the novel by JM Barrie and co-directed by Jonathan Munby and Rupert Hands. 
Leeds Playhouse also welcomes Leeds West Indian Carnival back to the stage for the KING AND QUEEN SHOW and PRINCE AND PRINCESS SHOW; Northern Ballet return with DANGEROUS LIAISONS, choreographed by David Nixon OBE; 12 LAST SONGS, a new durational work by Quarantine in co-production with Transform, gets its world premiere; Phosphoros Theatre presents ALL THE BEDS I HAVE SLEPT IN written by Dawn Harrison with the company; MY VOICE WAS HEARD BUT IT WAS IGNORED, a Red Ladder Theatre Company production with support from Leeds Playhouse and Oldham Coliseum of Theatre of Nana-Kofi Kufuor’s play, directed by Dermot Daly; and Phoenix Dance Theatre’s 40TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION GALA.

As a registered charity, Leeds Playhouse relies on the support of valued partners to make great things happen. It is grateful for the continued support of Arts Council England, Leeds City Council, The Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation and the many charitable trusts, business partners and individuals that continue to support the vital work of the theatre.


Nottingham Playhouse is dedicated to making bold and thrilling theatre in the heart of Nottingham and was named Regional Theatre of the Year in The Stage Awards 2019. In 2021, both Chief Executive Stephanie Sirr and Artistic Director Adam Penford featured in The Stage’s 100 – as did Associate Artist James Graham. Nottingham Playhouse is facing its most challenging year so far. It is a central part of cultural life in Nottingham and, despite the pandemic closing its doors, it has proven its ability to adapt and thrive by creating new work and moving to digital platforms where in person audiences have not been possible. In 2020 its award-winning production of The Madness of George III was made available online through NT at Home and it produced its first piece of new digital theatre – an interactive Zoom play for children called Noah and the Peacock. Most recently, nearly 29,000 people, including children from 69 schools, watched its online pantomime Cinderella. It has continued its commitment to hiring local freelancers who have been hard-hit by the current crisis, through efforts to produce new work, highlighted in its Unlocked festival in autumn 2020. This included the world premiere of Bubble by associate artist James Graham. Nottingham Playhouse believes that theatre should be accessible to everyone, even with its doors closed. Its Encore sessions created 2,240 engagements with over 50s in the past year and the Playhouse has continued to reach out to Nottingham’s communities, including those who are at risk of being isolated or marginalised. Its Amplify programme – which seeks to inspire and support theatre-makers from the East Midlands – has also continued running with one-to-one sessions, panel discussions, open call outs and podcasts. Future productions include the chilling retelling of A Christmas Carol written by and starring Mark Gatiss and dazzling pantomime Beauty and the Beast. Then, 2022 will feature the much-anticipated productions of Private Peaceful and Red Ellen, which are due to take place after being postponed due to the pandemic. Nottingham Playhouse Trust Ltd relies on ticket sales for 70% of its income, and continues to fundraise through its Curtain Up appeal. It is a registered charity (no. 1109342).
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