Created by Le Gateau Chocolat
2017 - current touring and development led by In Company Collective
LGC articulates and embodies ‘blackness’, as both cause and consequence of discrimination. His multifarious experience of discrimination, including mental health, sexuality, and size/body shape, gives him a unique perspective on stigma and empathy, and his affecting performance capabilities give him powerful tools with which to reach diverse groups. Fusing cabaret, opera, animation, theatre, and live art, BLACK delves deep into LGC's own history and battle with depression.
Originally commissioned by Homotopia, the UK’s foremost LGBT art and cultural festival and created with funding from Arts Council England and support from Pink Fringe, Nightingale Theatre, and Colchester Arts Centre.
A diagnosis from The Sick of the Fringe, focusing on intersectional identity:
Le Gateau Chocolat mines the personal and the political in this cabaret-infused performance, which embraces an intersectional understanding of identities and powerfully presents a life in progress, without happy endings or narrative closure. The work draws from Le Gateau’s autobiography – while often artists use pseudonyms to hide their personal story, here it feels like the pseudonym and character provide entry into the performer’s authentic self, with snippets of reflections, top tips, and animated interludes which guide the story through a challenging life. In a year of BlackLivesMatter and increased recent media attention to gender expression, sexuality, and body policing, a show about any one of these issues would be relevant, but it’s the blending of the issues together which makes the real impact. The final revelation of mental health difficulties, challenges and the spectre of suicide adds an important and unexpected dynamic. Presented without hyperbole, Gateau uses his baritone to push forward the impact that accompanies such a serious story and such a serious consideration of these issues. (BL)
See the full diagnosis here
PRESS / UK
Laura Kilmurry discusses why BLACK is such an important show - Broad Way Baby
About Time Magazine profiles LGC and his run of BLACK at the Soho Theatre
BLACK gets 5 Stars from LGBTQ Arts in a review by Alice Stringer
"If clothes maketh the man, then it is clear that Little Black’s wardrobe has from a very early age thrown all convention to the wind" - writes Colin Hambrook for Disability Arts Online
Plays to See: International Theatre Reviews gives a brief profile and 5 star review to BLACK for its run at Theatre Royal Stratford
"There's something about Le Gateau Chocolat's rich, velvety baritone that penetrates the soul." - a review from The Stage by Paul Vale
QX Magazine interviews LGC, cracking into LGC's thoughts on whether artists and performers tend to suffer with mental health at a higher rate than others
From the first run of BLACK with Pshappa Music Ensemble, Marianna Meloni gives BLACK an excellent rating in Everything Theatre
Laura Folger from The Upcoming reviews BLACK at Theatre Royal Stratford East
Why Le Gateau Chocolat is so much more than just a drag act - The Wharf
LGC discusses his inspiration for BLACK in an interview with Dave Cross from Boyz
Exeunt Magazine - "In barely sixty minutes Black provides Le Gateau Chocolat with an opportunity to take his audience into abyssal despair, while at the same time lifting hearts and souls with his irrepressible love of song and performance."
LGC talks about the intricacies of BLACK in an interview with Made Up
Dovydas Laurinaitis for The National Student extols the urgency of BLACK
"Black is innovative, entertaining, and deeply moving, and Le Gateau Chocolat’s voice is wonderful. This show is not quite like anything else." - Culturised
Grumpy Gay Critic on why BLACK "is a show of such flooring visceral impact that it leaves a permanent dent on your very being."
Run-Riot interviews LGC on the many meanings of BLACK
"BLACK is an inspiration to anyone who has felt other, and by my reckoning, that’s just about everyone." - The London Economic
This profile in The Guardian on shows engaged with depression highlights BLACK
Gay About Town gives BLACK 5 Stars
Press / International
LGC talks to Andrew Anderson about how BLACK goes beyond traditional Cabaret tropes and why LGBT+ voices are more important than ever - International Arts Manager
Adelaide's Independent News, InDaily, interviews LGC on BLACK, what he hopes to achieve, and what he would tell Little Black.
Arts Review in Adelaide gives a rapid fire interview with LGC in the lead up to BLACK at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, June 2017
What Our Audiences are Saying
"The most refreshing 'black' performer currently throwing down! Period!"
- Boy George
"That was a lovely and most evocative hour; thank you"
"A concise and impressively directed piece, expertly performed; personal without being self indulgent, inventive warm and wise... one of the most moving, entertaining and special shows of the year. "
- Made Up (UK)
"Upfront and poignantly personal...depression distilled in music and insight... full of beauty and intensity"
- The Stage (UK)
"Black is an impeccably constructed, challenging and unique performance... as both an epitaph and beacon of hope expressing the universal humanity that lies beneath eccentricity and difference - for as Chocolat declares: We are human first and have all been black at some point"
- The Upcoming (UK)