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Le Gateau Chocolat, the opera and lycra-loving cabaret sensation will bring his latest critically-acclaimed work, Icons, to the Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2018.
Walking the tightrope between his public and private personas, Le Gateau Chocolat explores the people, the moments, the relationships, the art that shape us and his own experiences as a cabaret artist, and a drag performer, and balancing that with his own personal identity. He intimately delves into the addictive and deeply moving music of his own personal icons, unashamedly weaving through an eclectic mix of music; pop, opera, rock, Kate Bush, Whitney, Meatloaf, and Pavarotti. Vada Magazine had the opportunity to ask a few questions about and his work, including Icons and to find out what drives him.
1. What makes an icon for you?
A person, moment, an experience, a time that immortalises by sheer magnitude of it’s impact. It transcends its identity and becomes more than a sum of its parts.
2. Who is your most underrated icon of all time and why?
No icon is underrated because they’re not internationally recognised has no bearing on their standing. For instance, one of my greatest icons is my sister. I was in the room when she gave birth to my niece and I wept. Her strength, compassion, her constant rejection of glass ceilings inspire me to be better. Her name is Winnie and I’m very proud and humbled that she’s my sister.
3. What drives your work? Who do you make it for?
I make my work so that the underrepresented and marginalised can see themselves. I’m inspired to also underline our commonality for in a time where demagoguery is trending currency, I think it’s important to reinforce the idea that difference isn’t different. It’s sometimes difficult but nonetheless as per Maya Angelou “there’s no greater agony that bearing an untold story inside you”- the need comfort, provoke, challenge, educate, enlighten, entertain… supercedes the difficulty and reinforces the necessity.
4. What’s next for Le Gateau Chocolat, after Icons?
I am currenty working on an extraordinary and rather challenging piece; Effigies of Wickedness; Songs banner by the Nazis for the Gate theatre and English National Opera. A disturbing yet galvanising insight into who we are, were and could still become but also the depth of resilience and magnanimity we are capable of. That and my family show; Duckie – based on the ugly Duckling fairytale by Hans Christiansen playing at Stratford east Theatre Royal at the end of May.
If you want to see the glamorous, sassy, and heaps-of-fun Le Gateau, he will storm into the Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2018 on Friday the 18th and Saturday 19th May.