Le Gateau Chocolat, cabaret star and drag diva
I mean, musicals are ridiculous anyway then you throw a couple of drag queens at it and all hell breaks loose ...
This January, the Gold Coast will get its first taste of Le Gateau Chocolat. The fabulous glitter-covered performer is one of the world’s most renowned cabaret stars and will take The Arts Centre Gold Coast stage in eccentric fashion alongside wildly popular UK drag diva Jonny Woo in a new show called A Night at the Musicals. Le Gateau Chocolat is based in London, but he took time out ahead of his unmissable Gold Coast show to chat to us about sequined swimsuits, Malteasers and merging drag with musical theatre.
We’re super excited to have you on the Gold Coast in January! Tell us, what can we expect from A Night at the Musicals?
An anarchic and utterly riotous love letter to the musical theatre genre. I mean, musicals are ridiculous anyway then you throw a couple of drag queens at it and all hell breaks loose. All our satire and deconstruction comes from a place of love. We’re so excited to be coming to the Gold Coast and for this love-in to be our debut.
We’re intrigued – how did you go from completing a law degree to becoming a coveted cabaret star, drag diva and opera singer?
Hmm, I don’t really know! I don’t think you set out to study law to end up in a sequinned bathing suit on a stage in the Gold Coast belting out Liza’s ‘Cabaret’. It’s been a glorious rollercoaster of mistakes and surprises. One that keeps me on my toes – the Royal Opera House, the National Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe … I’m open to all of it and thankful for the opportunities to grow and evolve.
How do you wind down after such fabulously energetic shows?
Classical music, opera, Pukka tea (“Night Time”), really hot showers … I’m notoriously an insomniac and being on such an extreme high, post-show, really doesn’t blow but sometimes, the audience make it worth it.
What’s your earliest memory of being on stage?
Primary school, I think. Some play about being all the colours of the rainbow and I was red. Suitably dramatic and over the top. I don’t remember the performance but I remember the audition … Was between me and another guy. DRAMA!
Your work goes well beyond the wonderful world of drag performance, as you’re also heavily involved in the arena of contemporary opera and performance. In saying that, where are you happiest?
It’s important to me that they inform each other so I’m never just one thing. What I’ve learned from Kurt Weil’s Threepenny Opera at The National informs my solo work in ICONS, Black or indeed musicals… I’m happiest when I’m performing as I try to be all these things, all the time or distill most elements that the separate platforms avail me. That keeps it fresh and exciting.
What does a normal Sunday morning entail for you?
Lie ins as it’s mostly the start of my only day off in a week. Chill music, loud singing along to Renee Fleming in a very hot steamy shower in preparation for family day. Spending time with my nieces – they are four and one-and-a-half. They are mini Malteasers … they are just heaven! Then maybe cinema if I’m not completely zonked.
Enlighten us – what words of wisdom do you live by?
Oh god, this changes all the time but I think in the world that we live in now, with Australia’s marriage referendum, America, Brexit … the importance of kindness cannot be overstated. Kindness to yourself and kindness to strangers. Sure we live different realities that we may not all understand but with patience, compassion and kindness, we may traverse the unknown and get through all of this a little less injured and a little more intact.