Charismatic performer back in town
REVIEW: Anyone for another slice of Gateau?
The charismatic diva with the large wardrobe and the even bigger
voice is back.
Le Gateau Chocolat wowed and moved crowds at the World Buskers
Festival last year and has returned with a new show.
While last year's show felt more personal and poignant, this one
is all about big tunes and fun - taking in everything from opera to
South Park and a long overdue takedown of Les Miserables to
Between songs, the Nigerian-born, London-based baritone glides
through costumes, rifling through his dress-up box to find new
wigs, glittery dresses and even a dalmatian onesie.
It's a perfectly paced slice of good, old-fashioned cabaret with
a host that has charisma to burn.
But beneath the silliness and costumes, Gateau's incredibly
powerful voice is the anchor that stops the show floating away into
His performance of Nick Cave's The Ship Song is a showstopper
that is worth the admission price alone.
It is good to see Le Gateau Chocolat return to Christchurch, but
I miss the fragile and honest moments that gave last year's show a
surprising emotional heft.
This show is fun and entertaining, but it is missing that
personal dimension that made his first appearance in Christchurch
He is such an interesting performer and has such charisma that
it was fascinating to hear him tell stories from his life.
Those personal touches are missing from this show, with Le
Gateau Chocolat in full party mode and an impeccable live band of
pianist, bass player and drummer to support him.
My only quibble would be that Gateau's fantastic voice was
sometimes lost in the sound mix. I couldn't work out if it was the
acoustics at the Christ's College auditorium or the levels. Either
way, I'm sure this is a small technical hiccup that will be easily
ironed out by the weekend.
It certainly did not spoil the talent on display when Gateau
took to the stage and let rip with that magnificent voice.
No party is complete without a big slice of chocolate cake.
Le Gateau Chocolat - I Heart Chocolat (R16)
The Press Club in the auditorium at Christ's College. 9.15
every night. Reviewed by Charlie Gates.