BY JOY HADDEN
Icons is an inescapably fabulous emotional rollercoaster with Le Gateau Chocolat.
[star rating =5/5]
Sitting in the Piccolo tent in front of a childhood bedroom set in the 1980s, I for one did not expect the spiritual voice of Le Gateau Chocolat (MAYA ANGELOU) to silence a sold out audience.
As he descends from the stairs behind; in his black sequinned leotard, veiled hat and foot long lashes, it’s hard to see how a dinosaur bedspread and kitsch magazine posters fit this larger than life character. But with his equally larger than life deep rich baritone voice, he seamlessly weaves from Pavarotti to Madonna to share his life story with us.
From his childhood in Nigeria, his coming of age, religion, sexuality and first love, his story has a very vulnerable and personal feel. This, interspersed with humour and hyperactivity, leaves Le Gateau Chocolat collapsing in a panting frenzy at one point.
His versatility and vocal ability is as immensely moving as it is exciting, and with punctuated comic timing, he gives new life to old favourites. Joined on stage by two excellent musicians, I particularly enjoy his meatloaf tribute and ‘You Better Shape Up’ from Grease.
Le Gateau Chocolat gives such a glamorous performance in his empowering joyous cabaret, it simply has to be five stars.