SHE’S been one of the major success stories at the Fringe in recent years, garnering thousands of dedicated fans, enjoying sell-out runs and earning a raft of five-star reviews.
But Camille O’Sullivan isn’t one to rest on her laurels. She could have easily just stuck to what she knows, but instead has taken on a far more daunting task – debuting a new Fringe show, as well as starring in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of The Rape Of Lucrece at the International Festival too.
“It’s great to be part of the EIF,” says the Franco-Irish singer. “I think it’s the first time a headline act is doing both the Fringe and the International Festival, so it’s all very exciting.”
Seductive and bewitching, her breathy, raspy interpretations of songs by everyone from Brel to Bowie have won over fans and critics alike, all enthralled by her gift for using them to tell tales, inhabiting the characters within and teasing out every last drop of emotion contained in the lyrics.
And it was that art of revealing the story behind the words that persuaded the RSC to approach O’Sullivan about collaborating on a new one-woman production of The Bard’s epic poem of politics, lust and tragedy.
“It’s such an honour to be asked to do this by the RSC - it feels like I’ve gone up a gear as a performer,” she says. “It’s 47 pages of verse, which is quite daunting to learn, but it’s fantastic to act out. Shakespeare’s verse is incredible, and the music only serves to heighten the emotion of the tale.”
On top of appearing at the Royal Lyceum, the raven-haired chanteuse returns for her eighth year at the Fringe with new show The Changeling, albeit for a brief four-night stint. Featuring songs from her new album of the same name, it also includes the best bits from last year’s smash-hit Feel.
“There will be a mix of songs from last year’s show, and some new ones,” says the vampish songbird. “The album is quite dark, and I don’t want people collapsing or having a breakdown, so I’ve made sure it’ll be fun too.
“I love coming back to Edinburgh, but I always feel like I’m taking my final exams at school, what with trying to please the audience and get good reviews. I still get very nervous before shows - I’m an awful worrier.”
Camille O’Sullivan - Changeling, Assembly Rooms, George Street, 4-7 Aug, 10.25pm, £16, www.arfringe.com
The Rape of Lucrece, Royal Lyceum, Grindlay Street, 22–26 Aug, 9pm, £10–£30, www.lyceum.org.uk