Descriptives adjectives such as extraordinary, mesmerising, comic and more importantly soulful are so apt when it comes to describing the powerhouse vocalist that is Le Gateau Chocolat. He is larger than life his strong stage persona is undeniable. he now exudes confidence but via this very special piece of theatre this one man show describes his journey from ‘little Black’ in Nigeria to the man that now stands on a stage. Sitting pensively on an unmade bed staring up into the air he starts the show and with the Psappha New Music Ensemble behind him he bursts into song and within minutes he has the audience hanging on his every phrase as he performs Billie Holidays Strange Fruit , there is a noticeable silence as he whispers the last note, a haunting delivery of a torch song that raised goosebumps. The comedy elements were very funny and he did not mind telling the audience how he dealt with being Fat, his word after all. The timbre of his voice partnered with the facial expressions make him a unique individual. A true highlife was when fearful of stepping into the spotlight as the disco version of Whitney Houston’s I want to dance with Somebody reverberated across the theatre he then made the song his own slowing it right down and turing into a very emotional ballard that he thought best described his life to date. He is honest about how he deals with regular bouts of depression but as the show drew to close his message is an awesome one, its of hope. This was a heartfelt 60 mins of magic where as an artist Le Gateau Chocolat shone as brightly as magnificent black opal.
5 stars, Black was reviewed on the 6th April at The Theatre Royal, Stratford East .