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“Fills the space and the soul”

In Le Gateau Chocolat’s raggedy makeshift world, ugly ducklings don’t turn into beautiful swans. Life isn’t that simple if you’re ‘different’. Instead Gateau tells us, through songs and lots of silliness, that ducklings just have to find their own space in the world, learn their talents, and own them.

This is the cabaret superstar’s first show for kids, and it’s a form that really suits. His warm smile and fluttering eyelashes, as well as the animal costumes made out of sparkly things pulled out of his costume box, make him look like a fantastical character from a children’s TV show.

He sashays up into the audience, talking directly to the kids and letting them throw screwed up balls of paper at him.

And that voice… it gets into the bones. Whether it’s Not While I’m Around sung by a little mouse or the peacock’s Don’t Cha or the duckling’s rendition of I Am What I Am, Gateau’s luxurious bass-baritone fills the space and the soul.

There’s lovely design, too, from Ryan Dawson Laight, creating circus animals of things such as umbrellas and ropes.

Gateau updates Hans Christian Andersen’s original message for a world that’s more sophisticated in its approach to identity politics, and it’s lovely to see intelligent, slightly queer, and really enjoyable work being made for children.

Related to this Review

Le Gateau Chocolat: ‘Before I’m gay, black and fat, I’m human. My work is about that’Le Gateau Chocolat: ‘Before I’m gay, black and fat, I’m human. My work is about that’

Production Details
Production nameDuckie
StartsAugust 1, 2018
EndsAugust 12m 2018
Running time40mins
AuthorLe Gateau Chocolat, Tommy Bradson
DirectorTommy Bradson
Set designerRyan Dawson Laight
Costume designerRyan Dawson Laight
Lighting designerJo Palmer
CastLe Gateau Chocolat
ProducerThe Sick of the Fringe
VerdictInclusive update of The Ugly Duckling by cabaret supremo Le Gateau Chocolat
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Tim Bano

Tim Bano

Tim Bano

Tim Bano

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