Le Gateau Chocolat

Posted by: on Oct 22, 2012 | No Comments

A bit of sugar and a whole lot of spice Le Gateau Chocolat captivates audiences with his impressive vocals, miniature lycra costumes and long glittering lashes.

Le Gateau Chocolat

The lights dim and a deeply smooth operatic voice envelopes the room. Bearded, black and squeezed into a teensy, weensy lycra catsuit , La Gateau Chocolat emerges on to stage. Over the top, fabulous, tremendously talented and most certainly not like anything you’ll have ever seen before.

Strolling about a stage strewn in sequins, tulle and of course his signature lycra he is every bit the seasoned professional in his recent one man show at the Menier Chocolate Factory. Bellowing out a captivating opera rendition of Prince’s “Nothing Compares to You” the audience is absolutely breathless and it is clear that behind all the smoke and mirrors it’s this incredible vocal talent and raw charm that is leading him so quickly to the top.

With a list of star studded performances behind him ranging from the London sell-out cabaret La Soiree/La Clique and their  Australian tour, to various television appearances on the BBC, to singing with the Basement Jaxx and even performing at both Katie Price and  David Shwimmer’s  weddings, its hard to believe he’s still fairly new on the scene!

With another solo show in the works, and talks about a debut at Syndey Opera House it seems that life could not be sweeter for the London Drag Diva who has become one of the hottest tickets  in town.

Le Gateau Chocolat

TK:Where were you or when was it that you first discovered you could sing?

LGC: I always wanted to sing from as far back as I can remember. I’m still not a fan of my voice but I absolutely “j’adore” the storytelling and connecting you capture with strangers through music.

TK: What was your first song you performed on stage/ where?

LGC: Oh god, I don’t remember. It must have been singing about a blooming rainbow in primary school aged 7? I think I was colour red?!

Le Gateau Chocolat

TK: What would you like to be your last?

LGC: Jesus, your questions are full on! I’m still discovering my repertoire so I don’t have a definitive but if it were tomorrow- it would be “When I Have Sung My Songs To You” by Ernest Charles. Simple and beautiful.

TK: You are well known for your love of performing in head to toe Lycra costumes. When was the first time you put one on, was it love at first “try”?

LGC: My first lycra costume was handed down to me from a performer friend of mine named Dolly Rocket. I looked like a complete asshole and I “j’adored” every second of it!

TK: What is your favourite song to perform?

LGC: The songs in my show are the soundtrack to my life. Literally jumping from Radiohead to Pucinni to Showboat  to Prince- like my ipod. They represent particular moments and require different technical approaches, so I love them all for different reasons.

TK: Your one man show was so intimate and revealing and incredibly funny, did you feel a lot of pressure or more nerves performing as a solo show?

LGC: The opening lyrics, words in my show are “I don’t know why i’m frightened, I know my way around here… ” and it couldn’t be truer. Just before I come on especially in a new city, my heart rate’s up, the blood’s racing, I sometimes feel sick and then I whisper those words that acknowledge how i’m feeling, exhale and then I’m off! The adreneline and nerves are such a love/hate relationship because in the the end tehy really become the most addictive part!

TK: Did you plan the show very long in advance? What elements of the show were most important to you?

LGC: The most important thing for me was to show the audience the man behind the mask; the maquillage, lycra, lashes… what some might consider to be a masquerade.  Undercut the hyper-visual, and all the things you might consider as making us different with honesty and humanity- to discover those are the things that make us all the same!

TK: You say in your performance that you once auditioned for a big musical company and were rejected, do you think that has been a blessing to your career?

Le Gateau Chocolat

LGC: It was actually the Royal Academy of Music in London; A conservatoire, to train as an opera singer. So far it has worked out to be a blessing indeed! I got rejected in 2010 and it motivated me to write my show and here I am on the brink of debuting at the Sydney Opera House after just finishing my London season at the Menier Chocolate Factory. Touch wood this surreal journey continues in this vein.

TK: Who has been your biggest inspiration?

LGC: Many incredible artists. From Boogaloo Stu for unshackled levels of assholism, Renee Fleming/Jessye Norman/Leontyne Price – Voice, Paul Capsis/Adrian Howells/Jonny Woo- Drag artistry and performance, Dolly Rocket- Make up, My mum, My close friends, The Cast and Creative team of La Soiree/La Clique… The list is endless.

I’m very much still in a state of evolution and as there’s no school of cabaret but I pick up tips and tricks of the craft everywhere I go!

You were one of the most memorable, stand out performances of the popular and highly acclaimed LaClique/La Soiree, when were you first approached to perform with them? Were you excited to be part of the tour?

LGC: When I first joined them,  I didn’t really know who they were or the impact they’d have on my performance trajectory or the incredible things we would do together. They have become my surrogate family since the first performing with them in January 2009 at the London hippodrome.

What can we expect to see from you next? Perhaps an opera?

LGC: I would love love love to write an opera or perform an opera as myself- Le Gateau Chocolat is Madame Butterfly… Genius!
I’m already working on the next piece,  “Noir” Dark Chocolate.
TK: Lastly if someone was coming to London for one day only what’s one thing you would tell them they have to do?

LGC: To not have an itinerary but be open to falling in love with this crazy city. Eat at Princi or Dean Street Townhouse in Soho, see a show in the west end. Go east- get lost, walk into a crazy house party filled with drag queens. Go south and meet my disco family at Horsemeat Disco on a sunday…etc. The possibilities are endless!

 

Le Gateau Chocolat

Le Gateau Chocolat

Interview by Tracy Kawalik
Images Courtesy of Le Gateau Chocolat

Tracy Kawalik is a London-based fashion writer and stylist. She has contributed to many UK and international publications and is a regular correspondent for London Fashion Week. Styling work includes Pop-Up Shops and events with some of London’s most prominent designers and venues along with television and editorial.
Other posts by Tracy Kawalik on Luxe Lust.
You can also find Tracy on Twitter and her blog.

Tracy Kawalik