Le Gateau Chocolat: Icons (5 stars)

This article is from 2018

Le Gateau Chocolat: Icons

credit: Eli Schmidt

Le Gateau Chocolat slays again in poignant tribute to favourite divas

Time seems to stand still when Le Gateau Chocolat works his thing. A diva nonpareil, his bass baritone can make mountains quake, but is just as affecting when down to a near whisper.

In a mockup of a childhood bedroom, festooned with 80s pop culture iconography (posters of 'The Neverending Story' and 'Beverly Hills Cop' sit next to Grace Jones and David Bowie) he muses on how it was he parted ways with religion as a child in Lagos. 'I was taught I am an abomination, but how can I be when I'm made in His image?' he sighs).

It's the pathos and introspection that provides context. Chocolat understands that the best pop – whether Kate Bush's 'Running Up That Hill', or Bjork's 'Hyperballad' – have an undercurrent of melancholy.

It's not just Meatloaf pop video tropes (complete with wind machine) or an awkward teen bedroom mash-up of Madonna routines and coquettish eyelashes, he acknowledges gay resistance, struggle and intersectionality. Slave ballad 'Lord, How Come Me Here' is minimalist bare bones and absolutely prickles the skin.

The acknowledgement of late mentor and friend Adrian Howells is also suitably moving. Icons is as profound and touching a statement of intent as it is hip shaking, campy fun.

Assembly George Square Gardens, until 26 (not 20), 7.30pm, £14 (£13)

Le Gateau Chocolat: Icons

  • 5 stars

Soho Theatre Opera and lycra-loving cabaret sensation, Le Gateau Chocolat storms into the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with the captivating international smash-hit, Icons. Gateau seamlessly weaves through pop, opera and rock from Whitney to Pavarotti, investigating his own objects of worship through the songs and music of…