@ Assembly Hall, Edinburgh, until Sun 30 Aug 2015 @ 16:50

Black, originally commissioned by Homotopia in Liverpool, is a solo show performed by Le Gateau Chocolat. It deals with his experiences with depression and what the word “black” means to him, told through a mixture of song, audio-recordings, animation and monologue.

The audience is introduced to Little Black and his dream of growing up to be a famous opera diva, gown and all. We see the carefree Little Black pretending to be a synchronised swimmer and are then told that the lifeguard told him that he could never come back if he continued to wear a two piece swimsuit.

The show expertly articulates how fragile our dreams, self-esteem and our happy inner child can be. It says so much about the world and how we are still unable to accept those who might be what is deemed “different”.

Le Gateau Chocolat’s voice is perfection – you’ll be hard pushed to find a more technically brilliant voice at the Fringe. He goes past technical brilliance, however, bringing a real passion to the words of each song. Serious moments are artfully interspersed with moments of comic relief, meaning this show about depression and the struggle to be who you really are is hopeful and funny as well as sad and poignant.

This is a show that will stay with you. Le Gateau Chocolat’s rich, deep baritone will echo in your thoughts as you leave the venue on The Mound, just as the chill of the darker subject matter settles on your soul. It is a brave and important show, highlighting the awful damage we can do to one another but also leaving us with hope that it is possible to step out from the darkness.