Duckie (3 stars)

This article is from 2018


credit: Manuel Vason

Le Gateau Chocolat's first foray into children's theatre

The heart and soul are both there in Le Gateau Chocolat's updating of the story of the ugly duckling, told with a plummy voiceover moderated by the cabaret star's own impressive vocals and stage presence.

The telling, however, leaves a lot to be desired. For all that the costume designs are both delightful and intrinsically clever, the production is let down by too many elements of its technical presentation, from lighting to blocking and direction.

In Le Gateau's world, his first created for a young audience, Duckie is not a mis-named swan, but a proper yellow chick who finds himself unwanted by his fellow circus ducklings because of his inability to quack.

So Duckie sets off around the circus to find an animal whose act he can join. Lions, flamingos, elephants and sea lions all reject him until a hen peacock looks to his future and a wee mouse gives him a few wise words.

Each animal has a song to sing, a subverted version of a pop hit, sung in that rich, resonating voice but moderated down for young ears. And while Duckie might not find a place to fit in, his experiences create an inclusive lesson of learning to be who you are.

Summerhall, until 12 Aug, 2pm, £12 (£10).


  • 3 stars

Cabaret performer Le Gateau Chocolat performs his first work for children. Set in an animal circus, Duckie follows an outsider duck on a journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance.