If there are moments of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to hold onto, this would be mine. I had hoped beyond hope Le Gateau Chocolat ICONS would be somewhere near my memories of seeing Le Gateau at Charlotte Church’s Utopia. It seems unsympathetic as a parent to say, but as I felt the tears running from Seren’s face, accompanying my own, that there is confirmation that the brilliance of Le Gateau Chocolat isn’t underestimated.
Of course Le Gateau Chocolat knows how to make an entrance. Beginning the set with Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill’, more than meets the expectations of the bated breath of the audience. Le Gateau far from disappoints, the audience only left wanting more. Making his way through a repertoire including Dolly Parton, Bonnie Tyler and a stunningly haunting ‘You’re the One That I Want’, it is in the range of Le Gateau’s voice that beauty is absorbed.
There is humour created- with wind machines and wigs. With melodic tones and emotional outbursts combined with music.
In the stories shared, it is possible to fall in love. Sharing a set of a child’s bedroom from the 80’s, it is the memories of growing up which are recalled. As familiar as they are difficult, nostalgia was invoked. My learning was in the sharing of what drag is- a mask that allows you to be who you really are- that the penny dropped. There are so many challenges each of us face in life, and acceptance comes in the most unlikely of places.
Le Gateux Chocolat’s range is astounding, once Seren becomes accustomed to the baritone her acceptance moves to appreciation. I know she didn’t appreciate the Madonna mix-tape, but every bit of my youth came flooding back.
Whilst Le Gateau presents himself as the most imposing and contradictory drag persona. Of fantastic eye make-up, perfected nails, and costumes of voile, chiffon and sequins. It is this figure which allows us to see into love lost, marathons run, friendships created, and religion lost. This contradiction chimes strongly.
And so Seren and I find ourselves, for reasons we appreciate, loving a rendition of ‘For Good’. A tribute to Le Gateau’s good friend which sees a favourite song once again take on another meaning.
Akin to ‘For Good’, I do believe that in experiencing Le Gateau Chocolat ICONS, in sharing with as many people as we can, we are changing for good.
Le Gateau Chocolat ICONS is at Assembly George Square Gardens as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. You should catch a performance at 19.30, until Sunday 26th August.
Disclosure: We have media accreditation for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. All views and opinions contained are our own.