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Pandora, Le Gateau Chocolat’s operatic exploration of trauma and mythology, to premiere at The Lowry on Friday 25th & Saturday 26th November 2022

The Lowry, Salford, has announced the world premiere of its commission of Pandora, Le Gateau Chocolat’s operatic exploration of identity and trauma based on Pandora’s myth.

Pandora will receive its world premiere at The Lowry on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th November 2022.

The production was originally due to premiere in May 2020 as part of The Lowry’s WEEK 53 arts festival, however this was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

When the Pandora of ancient Greece dared to open a forbidden box, she let loose all the evils of the world. When Le Gateau Chocolat opens the modern equivalent, what concealed traumas, what contaminants, what afflictions will he discover?

Through his roof-lifting blend of thumping entertainment and tender-hearted insight, Gateau reinterprets the age-old story, examining how a loss of innocence and the discovery of painful truth forces us to evolve, develop and ultimately survive.

The cabaret star’s most ambitious show to date, Pandora sees the formidably multi-talented performer joined onstage with a 16-piece orchestra from Manchester Camerata with a score sampling textures from the classical and operatic world, original compositions and the world’s biggest pop stars.


Le Gateau Chocolat says: Four years have passed since I wrote this. The irony and parallels between the Pandora myth and the world altering event we’ve all just experienced is not lost on me. The pandemic robbed us of many things; most pertinently, of any agency in who we were/are all forced to become. I am most definitely not the same person. For me, the most intriguing aspect of Pandora’s lore are the contaminants released from her jar and the trauma of it opening. Are we poisoned or enriched by its content? What and who we are forced to become. Do we have any agency in this?

“I am thrilled and honoured that our friends and Commissioning partners at The Lowry have held the space and support for us to finally complete this world premiere performance in November, and tremendously excited to be performing with the Manchester Camerata for the first time. I can’t wait to release our PANDORA to the world.

Matthew Eames, Head of Theatres (Contemporary and Commissioning) at The Lowry, said: “Supporting artists and commissioning new work is so important to The Lowry, ensuring that the most exciting artists and companies are seen on our stages, here in Salford. Pandora by Le Gateau Chocolat is clear evidence of this and we’re delighted to announce the new dates of the world premiere this autumn. We are equally thrilled that Le Gateau will be accompanied by our friends at Manchester Camerata, who have been such collaborative partners from the very beginning.”

Conceived and performed by Le Gateau Chocolat
Composer and musical director | David Shrubsole
Co-writer and dramaturg | Tommy Bradson
Designer | Tom Scutt
Movement director | Ingrid Mackinnon
Commissioned by The Lowry (Salford) for WEEK 53, supported by Arts Council England.


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