Le Gateau Chocolat 'captivating'

CHARLIE GATES
Last updated 15:01 18/01/2013
le gateau Chocolat
IAIN MCGREGOR/FAIRFAX NZ

LE GATEAU CHOCOLAT: Silly fun and plenty of jokes.

Le Gateau Chocolat
IAIN MCGREGOR/FAIRFAX NZ
THRILLED: Le Gateau Chocolat left Press reviewer Charlie Gates 'festooned with joy'.

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The World Buskers Festival 2013

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REVIEW: This is an utterly mesmerising and delightful show.

Le Gateau Chocolat captivates his audience for over an hour as he glides through drag costumes, songs and stories.

The baritone diva must have an inner magnet that draws your eyes and holds them. I could not look away.

He is powerfully charismatic and has one hell of a singing voice. What makes the show so captivating is his fragile and vulnerable honesty.

He sings everything from Oscar Hammerstein to Radiohead, and each song reveals more about him.

Stories from his life give the songs raw emotional power as he draws on universal emotions like love and loss that make you think about your own life.

It is a simple show that stirs some complex emotions with a very light touch. You are not so much drawn into his world as he places himself firmly in yours.

But these raw, emotional moments are perfectly balanced with silly fun and plenty of jokes.

There is light and shade in perfect measure.

There were certain moments that nearly reduced me to tears, but then minutes later I was on my feet and dancing, a grin spreading across my face.

His infectious enthusiasm and perfect stagecraft means that wherever he goes, the audience will follow. And the guiding light is that beautiful singing voice. It is vulnerable, but powerful; fragile, but life-affirming.

The show ran for just over an hour but, with perfect showbiz taste, he left the audience wanting more. It could easily have run for two hours.

The buskers' festival is a great opportunity to catch left-field and exciting shows that would never normally reach Christchurch.

Le Gateau Chocolat is definitely one of those shows. I will be surprised if it is not sold out through to its finale next Saturday night.

And deservedly so. It is fun, beautiful and captivating.

In this job, I am always searching for the festival's hot ticket. When I find it, I cannot wait to tell everyone. I have not yet seen all the festival's evening shows, but if I see better than this I will be utterly thrilled.

It is the kind of show that leaves you festooned with joy.

Le Gateau Chocolat.

8.45 every night.

The Press Club, Busker Park.

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