We saw the last Le Gateau Chocolat show in Manchester (also at Contact), and we’re hear to tell you this is a performer you simply don’t want to miss. It’s not just that he has an incredible voice, which can bend to the lowest bass and trill at the top of the treble. It’s that he completely inhabits the songs he sings. When he performed ‘Old Man River’, for example, it sent a visible shiver through the audience as he became the tired and weary African American slave of which he sang.
That’s why he belongs here in the theatre section and not in the music listings. He is more than simply a singer: he’s an all round showman.
His new performance piece Black proves that point, dealing as it does with the subject of depression. Songs in the show include numbers made famous by pop stars like Whitney Houston, jazz singers like Nina Simone as well as the works of classical composers like Wagner. Expect silly, ecstatic highs, as well as mournful and melancholic moments as Le Gateau Chocolat takes us through his own battle with depression, as well as those of his heroes. Oh, and this time he is accompanied by an orchestra, adding additional dynamic power to the performance.
The show is part of Queer Contact, which, it almost goes without saying, has a number of other amazing acts on the bill including local legends Kate O’Donnell and Debs Gatenby.