Matador, Adelaide Fringe – Theatre Review

Melbourne based Bass Fam Creative returns to this year’s Adelaide Fringe with their 2021 sell out show Matador – sabor de amor. A spicy yet sexy mix of dance, acrobatics, circus, and burlesque, all used to weave together several stories of love, heartbreak, resilience, and acceptance.

While the staging is quite minimal, consisting of a simple backdrop and stage with a catwalk, this doesn’t detract at all from the show. I feel it fits in really nicely in the Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent, which captures the Spanish vibe of the show, and becomes a part of the performance itself. Entering the tent at the start of the show feels like stepping into a sideshow circus, setting the scene mentally also.

The Magic Mirror Spiegeltent lives up to its name, with mirrors adorning all the walls, and even the poles and pillars of the tent. I loved the way the light reflected throughout the venue from the many mirrors, mixing with the faint smoke in the air to create light beams throughout the room. The lighting design was used extremely well, with deep reds and cool blues used in different acts to convey many moods and adding another dimension to the show.

Matador is a spectacular show full of emotion. I’ve really got to commend the soundtrack that has no doubt been painstakingly assembled for this show. An amazing mix of modern pop and hip-hop remixes blended with some traditional Spanish numbers provided a dynamic energy for all the dance numbers as well as the circus performances. I want that Spotify playlist! But I believe a lot of the songs have been custom made for the show.

The producers of Matador have assembled a strong talented bunch of performers, all of which consist of seriously impressive dancers, and some incredible circus performers, putting on jaw-dropping acrobatic displays both on stage and hanging from the ceiling. It was awe-inspiring. The crew is cohesive and extremely well versed, they didn’t miss a beat and it looked like they were having an absolute blast up on that stage. 

While every member of the cast is brilliant in this production, the standout for me was Gerard Pigg who is both choreographer and dancer of the show. He effortlessly commanded the stage with his presence and looked to be having the time of his life throughout the show. I particularly loved Pigg’s alter-ego Sauvage, which featured some cheeky audience interaction that had the crowd giggling. I wish you could bottle that kind of energy and share it with everyone!

And finally, the costumes. The costumes are stunning, handcrafted and no expense spared, it truly helped lift the show to another level. There are sequins, gems, corsets, robes and so much more. The designer has used a simple pallet of colours, with rich reds, blacks, and muted tones. Yet the outfits are provocative, sexy, and risqué, but extremely tasteful at the same time. Overall, it’s a visual feast for your eyes.

Matador is simply a huge amount of fun, lovingly crafted by a truly passionate cast and crew. This production showcases a balanced curation of dance, performance, and circus, perfectly set to a pumping high energy soundtrack, all coming together to tell a touching and moving story. I would highly recommend you check it out, and I honestly cannot wait to see more shows from Bass Fam Creative in the near future. This is a show that’s not to be missed!

Matador is playing now as part of the 2022 of Adelaide Fringe at Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent at Gluttony – Rymill Park.
For more information on Matador and ticketing, visit:
https://adelaidefringe.com.au/fringetix/matador-sabor-de-amor-af2022
For more information on Bass Fam Creative, visit here: https://www.facebook.com/bassfamcreative/

Photography by Ben Vella.

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