BEING made redundant from NHS Direct in Brighton was a turning point in the life of law graduate Le Gateau Chocolat.
“I thought I could either apply for another job or see if I could make a living from singing,” Le Gateau said.
“That was in 2004 and it was hard for a while and then slowly it started to make sense and now it’s glorious and I get to see the world.”
Le Gateau has become a favourite on the Perth Fringe World program after making his debut with solo show Le Gateau Chocolat in 2012.
The drag performer returns this year with British comedian and drag queen Jonny Woo to present A Night at the Musicals at Edith Spiegeltent from January 31 to February 11.
The two met in 2002 when Woo brought his hit London show Gay Bingo to Brighton and they have stayed friends ever since.
“We made A Night at the Musicals about 10 years ago when a guy at this kooky edgy hipsters restaurant in East London called Bistrotheque gave us the performance space for six months,” Le Gateau said.
“We kept trialling stuff and now we’ve revived it all these years later.
“Musicals is our love letter to the genre of musical theatre and we absolutely rip the piss out of it. Most people love musicals and even if you don’t, because we’re making fun of it, this is a show even more for you.
“We’re not being earnest, we know they’re ridiculous, so come and celebrate how ridiculous. There’s something really wonderful about having a communal experience and the show has a lot of joy in it.
“I think what we’re trying to do is entertain and distract so you don’t have to think about everything else that’s going on. I think that’s what performers and entertainers are meant to do – to distract you from reality.”
No musical is safe as the duo work their way from Les Miserables and The Lion King to Cabaret and Annie.
Le Gateau said his return to Fringe World was not just about presenting another show but also cultivating a relationship with his audience.
“I feel like I’ve got a good one and need to keep that going and introduce the different sides of me of who I am as an artist,” he said.
“And since I brought my first show to Perth in 2012, the world continues to change and there’s so much to talk about. We don’t do it in Musicals because that show is a particular vehicle, but my work normally reflects what’s going on; there’s so much that I want to say to Australian audiences and want them to say to me.
“It’s a lot of conversations to have in drag and I welcome them all.”
What: A Night at the Musicals
Where: Edith Spiegeltent
When: January 31 to February 11