After two massively successful Adelaide Fringe runs in 2021 and 2022, Matador was a no show at the 2023 festival, much to my surprise. However, creator Bass G. Fam has something special up his sleeve, Matador La Experiencia!
Adelaide’s Queens Theatre plays host to Matador La Experiencia, with the event taking full advantage of this amazingly beautiful and unique space to create a fully immersive Spanish experience. The lounge space has been set up with a bar and some cabaret seating with a small stage, featuring live Spanish music as you arrive.
For the full experience, make sure you arrive early and enjoy some amazing paella for dinner from Don Fuego while you enjoy a refreshing drink from the bar and watch the live music in the lounge. This will really transport you into the world of Matador before you head into the main theatre, where the spectacle takes place.
This version of Matador has certainly broken its tent-based shackles of the fringe years and makes full use of The Queens Theatre’s space. Up the back of the room is theatre seating, looking over the expansive stage with a decent sized catwalk down the middle. Dotted around the catwalk is the VIP seating, with tables and some really comfortable seats! The stage has a rustic wooden plank vibe that really suits the Spanish theme, works perfectly and creates a wonderful backdrop for this show.
At the heart of Matador is a complicated love story of Matador and Toro, which is unapologetically raw and emotional. We see the two lovers battle their way through betrayal, backstabbing and tragedy, giving their all for love. But surrounding these two are more stories of love and discovery, covering the themes of lust, forbidden love, and gender dynamics.
These stories are told through the art of dance, burlesque, and high-flying circus acts, all performed by a talented, beautiful, and insanely sexy cast. Bass has assembled a solid crew of 15 performers for this show, some long-time veterans such as Christopher Politis who takes on the role of Toro, is as spectacular as ever. They all just ooze confidence and charisma, and with great chemistry together, it’s easy to see that this team aren’t just co-workers, they’re more like a family.
The vibe and energy of the performers filled the room with the crowd happily lapping it up! Everyone was having a blast getting in on the show with clapping, cheering, hooting, and hollering. The venue was filled with smiles as much as the feet were tapping. I know that I was grinning like a dork for sure! It’s certainly worth getting the VIP tickets too, as you’ll be drawn even more into the show, as the dancers make their way into the crowd for different parts of the performance, even offering shots at one point. I love this kind of interaction and it’s a really unique touch to an already amazing experience.
Matador La Experiencia is a feast for the eyes in so many ways. From the amazingly detailed and gorgeous handcrafted costumes that adorn the performers, to the meticulously created light show that accompanies the show and builds the atmosphere, it is an experience that must be seen by everyone. Pair this with the thumping, high energy soundtrack of hit songs with a Spanish flare, it’s the perfect recipe for an unforgettable show.
I believe without a doubt that this is a must-see event. Even if you have seen previous iterations, this new show is on a whole different level. Matador has grown up, evolved, and the story has been fleshed out to roughly 2 hours with more dance and showmanship. You will be transported to a whole other country, and it’s worth every cent! Bass and his team have created magic and it needs to be seen to be believed!
Matador La Experiencia is playing in Adelaide at The Queens Theatre until May 28.
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