L’histoire du Pigalle!

While my mother was in the kitchen baking apple pie and roast pork for Sunday lunch listening to the radio, I was transfixed by a black and white a documentary on television about a diminutive French cabaret singer. She wore a simple black dress, had the most fabulous friends: thieves, pimps and prostitutes, the most tragic life yet incredible career. It was a life of poverty, abandonment, hope, success, murder, and music. The story was about the french Chantuese Edith Piaf, known by so many as ‘The Little Sparrow’. I was completely gripped! By the time the documentary was over, my lunch was cold, my mother was cross. I declared then and there that I wanted to become a French cafe singer and lead a similar life. – Derby Browne

Such were the naive origins of Pigalle that was to become the popular show years later, selling out, show after show and leading to many exciting adventures in pursuit of the elusive life of a chantuese.

Pigalle! tells the story of Piaf, coupled with Derby’s own search for an accordionist, a trip to Paris to pursue the path of Piaf and the follies that follow.

Derby is accompanied by the crème de la crème of musicians: Piano, Guitar, Accordion, Double Bass & Percussion, arrangements by David Wray.

Pigalle! is packed with music from the cabarets and cafes of Paris; with romantic interludes from Parisian tea-shops, carnivals and market-places. Portraying the diminutive chanteuse’s life of poverty from the depths of Paris’ slums to worldwide fame and notoriety. Romance, poverty, success, murder and music – Pigalle has all of the ingredients to transport an audience back to the murky yet glamorous era of 1930’s/40’s Paris.

Derby Browne


Derby Browne is pitch-perfect as Edith Piaf!

[…] Ireland’s own Derby Browne will present her homage to Piaf this summer at venues across the country. Pigalle! is Browne’s personal tribute to the life and music of Piaf and includes performances of the singer’s best known songs including “La Vie en Rose”, “Hymne à L’Amour”, “Milord” and “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien”. Pigalle! is packed with evocative French café music and includes songs by other celebrated French artists: Jacques Brel, Charles Trenet, Francis Lai and Michel Le Grand. Written and produced by Derby Browne, Pigalle! arrangements are by Cian Boylan. – Jim Comic, Cork