by Owen Scrivener
Le Gateau Chocolat’s Perth performance is a broth of British cabaret drag, 80’s pop and autobiographical monologs. The performance packages song, mime, comedy and tragedy into an hour long routine.
Within the artist, encumbered by religion, sexuality, death and depression, unfolds an expressive androgynous creation. His grief corresponds to a sung cover selection, or perhaps it’s the other way around. At points I was unsure.
Le Gateau is an achieved theatrical singer, and this was evident throughout his performance. He showcased his incredible baritone around the middle of the performance with a rendition of Vesti La Guibba from the opera Pagliacci.
He also offered some softer, more recent repertoire, You Were Always On My Mind, sung more like Chet Baker than Elvis Presley. The popular works of Madonna and Whitney Houston also appeared. Madonna’s features seemed to be a theme throughout as Le Gateau Chocolat mimed a number of her works, harkening back to his adolescence and scowling to Papa Don’t Preach.
This is something I think was too brief. Granted there were time constraints, I don’t think the cover selections were as effective as I expected. There was a moment early in the performance where he articulated a disassociation with the binary anchors of his religious upbringing and its effect on his identity. However this is merely touched upon.
Perhaps I missed the objective of his anecdotes. I accept that the cover pieces were an attempt to extend the short monologues and for what they were I believe they were incredibly beautiful.
The costumes were everything I’ve come to expect of British drag, campy sequin leotards and untamed robust wigs. The finale costume change and performance marked, for me, an incredible show.
Le Gateau Chocolat’s sincere stage persona is an extension of a very real human. Le Gateau Chocolat is performing at De Parel Spiegeltent at the Perth Cultural Center in Northbridge each night between Monday 25th to Sunday 31st.
Photo credit: legateauchocolat.com