George Ikediashi is a total one-off. And his performance style pretty much defies definition. This huge personality sits easily inside an equally huge physical frame but his talent is not limited by any kind of cultural barrier.
And what I think he’s getting at is the state of mind, in isolation , that we’ve all gone through for the last 15 months.
The show opens with the voice of Judy Garland singing “ I’ll go my way by myself “, and he appears on a large screen , singing along.
Then suddenly he walks on to his elaborate set – a comfortable living room, with sofa, chairs, table lamps – nothing out of the ordinary – apart from a man playing a grand piano in the shadows !
And then off we go on some sort of Joyceian experience, as Le Gateau, in large flowing gown, but minus his stage wig, hoovers his rug, hangs out his drying and listens to a late night radio show , hosted by the annoying but symbolic Lionel .
And as this past midnight scene progresses we get Le Gateau’s huge sonorous voice in a variety of musical forms – from slave’s spiritual to Sondheim’s Being Alive , with its relevant and poignant line “ alone is alone not alive “.
It’s a show lamenting our enforced isolation but also underlining our basic humanity and need for each other . Whatever else it is – it’s stunning to witness.
Check out these brilliant stories read by Le Gateau Chocolat for Children’s Book Week 2021: