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Le Gateau Chocolat & Jonny Woo’s A Night at the Musicals

Six days into the new year and I had the chance to see two of my favourite theatrical tropes at one of London’s best theatres, as last night saw me trotting down to the Soho Theatre for Le Gateau Chocolat and Jonny Woo: A Night at the Musicals – 90 Years of Drag.

Jonny Woo and Le Gateau Chocolat in A Night at the Musicals at Soho Theatre. Photo by Shazad Khalid.
Jonny Woo and Le Gateau Chocolat in A Night at the Musicals at Soho Theatre. Photo by Shazad Khalid.

Jonny and Gateau are celebrating milestone birthdays (50 and 40 respectively) and have decided to celebrate with an extravaganza of musical hits from the past 90 years. This, they do in spectacular style with an abundance of costume changes and a range of numbers that will please and delight any fan of musical theatre.

It’s difficult to say too much without giving everything away but as well as the amazing costumes – we are talking sequined catsuits, baby doll nighties, yellow rain macs and even a lion – the two hosts have a wonderful line in patter that the audience laps up. They do say that some of the introductions to the songs are tenuous, and they definitely are. There is one involving a canal boat, a farmer, and a friend of a friend of a friend that starts in one place and somehow takes the audience to a completely unexpected song at the end. Personally, I really enjoyed the tenuous links and would have liked to hear more as they were great fun and not used enough for me.

The songs are a selection of well-known favourites and, unusually for a West End show, joining in is actively encouraged. One of the few down points for me was that the two performers occasionally mucked around with the songs going for laughs rather than a true rendition of the lyric, which is not something I am really into, especially as both Jonny and Gateau have wonderful voices. They do duets and solos, and a high point was Gateau’s powerful rendition of ‘Hopelessly Devoted to You’ which had the rather boisterous audience reduced to silence with its haunting words and delivery.

The show lasts around 60 minutes, but the time flies by so fast as the duo pack so much into the production. It is as spectacular visually – got to say I’ve never seen a confetti cannon used in quite that way before – as it is musically, and Gateau and Jonny really bare their souls in their performances. There is a lovely chemistry between the performers – who describe themselves as the Richard and Judy of drag – that comes over and fills the audience with the same love and understanding. A Night at the Musicals – 90 Years of Drag is not necessarily something for the musical purist, but anyone that loves a good drag show with excellent music will have a wonderful time and come away from the theatre with a big happy smile on their face.

4 stars

Review by Terry Eastham

This is one show you’ll be dragging your friends along to see again and again!

From Cats, to Sound of Music, Cabaret to Little Mermaid – no show is safe!

So strap yourself in to your tightest cat-suit, curtain-lederhosen, tux-tails or fishtail, and get ready for a night of musical mayhem from your favourite drag duo.

Wed 4 – Sat 21 Jan 2023

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