Le Gateau Chocolat: Icons @ Assembly George Square Gardens

Le Gateau Chocolat’s soulful cabaret proves that one slice is just not enough

Review by Deborah Klayman | 09 Aug 2018
  • Le Gateau Chocolat: Icons

Le Gateau Chocolat enters the tent, singing a haunting version of Kate Bush’s 'Running Up That Hill', resplendent in a sequined leotard and a fascinator that Grace Jones would be proud of. For the next 60 minutes, he holds the audience in the palm of his hand, effortlessly enchanting them with his sensational voice, likeable persona, and comedic timing.

The majority of the set is the bedroom of a child of the 80s, replete with pictures of Ghostbusters, Tina Turner, The Terminator and other iconic images. On either side, musicians play live and create the soundscapes Gateau requires for this production, as he mixes the songs that epitomised his youth with others that hold a more sombre personal or political meaning.

There are times where political moments, shared with the audience via voiceover and old TV showing static, feel slightly incongruous, but the juxtaposition of Gateau’s upbringing and metamorphosis into his present form means that all things are possible and relevant.

Ultimately, this show is all about Le Gateau Chocolat’s truly outstanding voice. He has a fantastic upper register, but it is the unbelievable resonance of his beautiful baritone that fills the space with a mournful warmth on a range of songs, from the spiritual 'Lord, How Come Me Here' to the usually upbeat 'You’re The One That I Want'. His meaningful rendition of 'For Good' and perfect 'Pagliacci' shows off his vocal and musical range, and the lighting and staging thoughtfully complements it throughout.

Le Gateau Chocolat certainly doesn’t take himself too seriously, however, recounting numerous amusing stories and belting through a hilarious Madonna mega-mix that leaves everyone (including himself) breathless. Both elements are brought together wonderfully in 'It Could Have Been Me', which melds his wit and soulful qualities in a bravura performance. Glamorous, good-natured and glorious, Gateau should be something everyone samples at least once.

 Le Gateau Chocolat: Icons, Assembly George Square Gardens (Piccolo), 2-26 Aug (not 13, 20), 7.30pm, £12-14

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