Reviewer: Emily Hall
Maya Angelou’s voice precedes Le Gateau Chocolat’s, making his entrance that much more dramatic when he descends the stairs in a black sequinned leotard with a wedding hat veiling his ever-long lashes. The notes of Katie Bush’s Running Up That Hill assure all newcomers that his voice is everything they had heard it was.
The premise is as self-indulgent as the dessert he’s named for. Set in a star-studded 80s bedroom, complete with the kitsch magazine posters and the dinosaur bedspread, the only narrative flow he beholds himself to is his own past. The emotional rollercoaster of songs soars to Madonna’s frenzied, empowering height and plummets into his mournful, baritone lows. Mood swings weren’t the only teenage callback, with Le Gateau Chocolat even taking an interlude to lip sync and mumble-sing to a dizzying array of late twentieth century hits with the reckless abandon of a younger sibling getting their first shot at the remote.
The tonal inconsistencies can all be disregarded in the name of nostalgia, save for the crackling of the television set followed by the too-familiar voices of the current and former American Presidents. Perhaps a reminder of the significance of icons today, it felt more like an unwelcome intrusion into Le Gateau Chocolat’s musical origin story.
Packed with beloved anthems and masterfully reworked classics, Icons makes for a beautiful if not empowering night out. Le Gateau Chocolat is poignantly vulnerable and scathingly glamorous all at once: a true televisionary superstar.
Runs until 26 August 2018 | Image: Contributed