FRINGEWORLD: Le Gateau Chocolat – Icons (4.5 stars)

In Icons, London born Nigerian act Le Gateau Chocolat “explores his experiences as a cabaret artist, and drag performer, balancing that with his own personal identity at the end of the day.” He brings us the acts that inspired him as a young boy in a heartfelt and intimate cabaret that explores life, love, identity, loss, and frivolity.

Opening with a unique and glamorous rendition of Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill, Le Gateau bursts into the Spiegeltent in a haze of sparkles. He effortlessly powers through the song with his deep, and rich voice. What follows is a candid, hilarious and incredibly moving show.

Taking the songs of true icons – from Whitney to Elvis, Madonna to Gershwin and quite a bit in between – Le Gateau strips his life bare, and examines the songs that shaped him into the stellar performer he is today. Le Gateau is hilarious as he re-lives the frenzied energy of early Madonna and the hits of the 80s.

He jumps between stories from his youth, his early adulthood and how the present drag act became what it is today. Singing and dancing with his sister to Whitney et al in the embryonic stages of Le Gateau, and relaying that it has come full circle – he now dances with his niece. finding and losing the love of his life – at the impressionable age of 14 – and grappling with how to channel pain into performance.

There are simple moments of repose – a haunting and emotional moment of stillness when singing about a lost friend, a rich and heavy aria. There are moments of frivolity and fun, and moments of utter brilliance. Le Gateau’s finale has the whole audience singing along, reveling in the kitsch and glamour of cabaret.

Le Gateau is absolutely flawless. For someone with no hair, he rocks a wig like a true diva! That voice, that perfect, rich, fruity and delightful voice! His performance will stay with you forever. Le Gateau makes you ask yourself: don’t you wish you could be that fabulous?

When: Sunday 24th – Sunday 31st January

Where: De Parel Speigeltent, Fringe Orchard, Perth Cultural Centre

Tickets: $32

Info: Duration 60mins