Review: ICONS by Le Gateau Chocolat

The Soho Theatre

I tend not to read anything about a show before I see it, as I believe in the long lost art of relying on how art makes me feel, before I make any judgements on it. I was aware Le Gateau Chocolat’s Icons had received great acclaim in a previous run, so I was excited!

Opening with a haunting cover of Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill – which may or may not be one of my favourite songs of all time – and going through a series of covers of known icons such as Madonna, Dolly Parton, Björk, and Whitney, I was immediately sold! It combined great storytelling, live music, powerful and emotive singing, and even a chance to join in at the end, in a nice sing-a-long.

And even though all the pop hits may have made me less objective, it was impossible not to recognise the careful, clever, and moving interweaving of iconic pop songs and real, and profound, personal lived experiences. Touching on subjects such as teenage crushes, death, politics, religion, spirituality, heartbreak, and empowerment, Le Gateau Chocolat took the audience on a very well-crafted journey and narrative, through moments of great laughter and joy, as well as moments of silence and sorrow.

The way in which some of the covers were rearranged to highlight the lyrics, rather than the melody or beat, made me think about the importance of pop music for the LGBTQ+ community and the deep connection we have with our icons, reminding me that sometimes these great iconic songs are not just fun to dance or sing along with, but they can literally be life-saving and life-changing for many of us.

This performance has now ended, but for future performances follow: @LeGateauChoc | #ICONS | #LeGateauChoc |

© Ryan C Valadas 2017


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