Le Gateau Chocolat: A slice of Fringe cabaret
By Caro Moses | Published on Wednesday 24 August 2011
He’s a star of La Clique, he’s played the Royal Albert Hall, and he used to be head boy when he was at school. Le Gateau Chocolat tells us all about his show, his time in Edinburgh, and how he feels about cake.
CM: Tell us what happens in your show, and what it hopes to achieve.
LGC: You get to meet the man behind the lycra, the maquillage… I introduce you to Le Gateau Chocolat though song and anecdotes; we literally spend the hour in each others company. The show’s main thrust is to celebrate the things that make us the same. We look at the each other and are immediately reminded of our differences – race, height, size, sexuality – but the show hopefully transcends our differences, celebrating our humanity. I would also hope the show challenges preconceptions of drag queens, gay men. So come, let us while away the hour, laughing, loving, crying and reaffirming.
CM: When you were a child, is this what you wanted to do when you grew up? How did you get into it?
LGC: Not at all, this is one of the best mistakes I’ve ever made. I love every minute of it but I never planned to do this. I studied law and as far I as I knew, a lawyer was what I was going to be. But life sometimes throws you lemons, and this is rather delicious lemonade, effervescent and everything.
CM: This is your first Edinburgh, isn’t it? How are you finding it? Is the show going well?
LGC: It’s going very well (touch wood). We’re now in the final week and it does feel like I’ve been here for twelve years. I love being surrounded by other performers and sponging up the atmosphere, but that said, this festival is a bit carnivorous: not only do you have to do a show nightly, but you’ve got to sell it. Flyering, guest spots, interviews etc. Though necessary, incredibly taxing at times. It’s been a wonderful yet humbling experience.
CM: How do you like Edinburgh?
LGC: I love it. Its a right of passage for performers around the world. It’s been humbling. The reaction has been heartening, from that of the 11 year old boy who whispered that he loved it and ran off, to the Spanish man who didn’t speak much English but managed to say “I didn’t understand everything you said but I understand your heart”. I’ve LOVED Edinburgh.
CM: We read somewhere that you were head boy at your school. Is that true?
LGC: Yes. Head boy indeed. Not just a pretty face (ha ha ha ha).
CM: When did you perform at the Royal Opera House and how did that happen?
LGC: In 2008 and 2010. I auditioned for a company called the Opera group and they asked me to premier their new contemporary opera, ‘Varjak Paw’, which was terribly exciting. And last year I worked with Jocelyn Pook who’d actually seen me in La Clique. She sought me out and wrote an a piece for me. Incredible. So lucky.
CM: Do you actually like chocolate cake?
LGC: I love chocolate cake for the many purposes it serves. From being incredibly indulgent sometimes to being the comfort you need after a hard day or a bad occurrence. I LOVE IT!!!
Le Gateau Chocolat performed at Assembly George Square during Fringe 2011.