Garden of Unearthly Delights, Corona Theatre, until March 14 (children’s show)
Review by Honey B
Le Gateau Chocolat lives in a world of pure imagination and he’s expanded that world to include a charming little tale for children entitled Duckie.Adapted from Hans Christian Anderson’s story The Ugly Duckling, Le Gateau’s first children’s show looks at the themes of bullying and feeling like an outsider.For this lilting pantomime, Le Gateau ditches his usual cabaret sequinned attire and dressed in darker coloured, baggy pants and a faded T-shirt with some dull feathers attached as well as a beanie.Gateau’s Duckie goes searching for friendship and while Duckie never talks, there’s a beautiful voiceover and he does sing like a nightingale.His search for friendship leads him to a circus and along the way he sings gorgeous, heartfelt versions of Pure Imagination from Willy Wonker and the Chocolate Factory, Girls (Flamingos) Just Wanna Have Fun and Somewhere Out There by James Horner (from the children’s movie An American Tale).Le Gateau’s voice is rich and moving – he held the children’s wide-eyed attention.While the costumes may not be spectacular like the bright yellow feathered duck suit in the poster – they are inventive. The lion’s mane made out of a black straw hat was brilliant and the flamingo’s hat with an umbrella stuck on it was very inventive and has to be seen.Some may wonder why Le Gateau has chosen to not change Duckie into a more pretty flamboyant style of bird, his decision to keep Duckie the same in his grey outfit meant Duckie was accepted as he was, not because he had a makeover.I took two eight year old girls and two 10 year old boys to the show, and while the boys weren’t quite as interested as the girls they all loved the singing and the costume changes. Maybe more songs could be added to the show and the plot could be built upon.It was obvious to see that Le Gateau had put his heart and soul into this show and he is to be commended for this topical production that has a clear statement about staying true to yourself.This is a tender tale with a much-needed message.