ED2015 3/5 Reviews ED2015 Theatre Reviews

Le Gateau Chocolat – Black (Assembly Festival, Soho Theatre and nitroBEAT)

By | Published on Thursday 20 August 2015

Le Gateau

Fans of cabaret star Le Gateau Chocolat may be surprised: the glitter and costumes are stripped away here for an autobiographical, musical tale of growing up black, gay, fat and depressed. His voice is unbelievably beautiful, from opera to a chilling rendition of Billie Holiday’s ‘Strange Fruit’, though some lighter songs may have helped to add balance. There was a localised rain storm over my face after his gorgeous, stripped down rendition of ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ (no, I wasn’t crying at a Whitney Houston song). The songs are interspersed with animated tales of his childhood and recorded interviews. Though it veers dangerously close to being self-indulgent and a little too bleak, this is a powerful story about depression, self-doubt and, ultimately, transformation.

Assembly Hall, until 30 Aug.
tw rating 3/5