MATADOR is a pounding celebration of love, friendship and the bonds that tie us together. Inspired by the life of writer, director and producer Bass G Fam, it's a tale of a great love that inspired him to be a better person, to find himself and to accept who he is.
However, in writing this tale of self-discovery and acceptance, a certain level of darkness and intensity had to be explored to tell the story accurately. Love can be nurturing and fulfilling, passionate and volatile, raging and torrid, and at times destructive - much like the relationship between the Bull and the MATADOR!
Whilst the Bull and the MATADOR are at the core of the story, the other 6 couples mirror and compliment them, representing the different facets of love; lust, friendship, pain, trust, acceptance and forgiveness. With only 3 nights of shows left, get your tickets now to Her Majesty's Theatre, 219 Exhibition St, Melbourne, as they're selling out fast. You won't regret it! The final two performances on Sunday 2 May both have good seats still available at this point in time.
members of the company: Christopher Politis (front centre)
Written, directed and produced by Bass G Fam of Bass Fam Creative, it's co-produced by Ranvir Marne. Cast member Gerard Pigg was onboard as the contemporary choreographer alongside Josephine Magliolo and Mario Acosta-Cevallos as the Latin choreographer. Amazing lighting directed by Jason Bovarid and operated by Stéphanie Ghajar was as much centre stage as the cast, supporting the mood and movement of every story on stage.
As the curtains rise and the set comes into view, it's simple yet breathtaking, and immediately recognisable as a well thought out backdrop that captures the imagination of every performance. The colours of deep reds and dark greens on starry nights, as swirls of purples and deep fuschia pinks whisper a promise of blood on the dance floor. The centre of the stage juts out into the audience, thus providing good viewing, while surrounded on each side by up-close and personal premium seating.
From the very first performance to the end, the stage is electrifyingly charged with impressive well-choreographed dance sequences and fully utilised from end to end by the performers. A rope/chain hangs down the front end of the stage that juts out, for the aerial performers to hook on to for some of their jaw-dropping aerial acts that display perfect muscle and movement control.
From the opening act to end, the energy on stage fuels the audience, obvious by the reactions all around. It just makes you want to get up and be a part of that thundering atmosphere that permeates your every pore. The use of an incredible soundtrack of modern music is inspired. The familiar songs re-arranged to fit the storytelling is genius. Elvis Presley's Suspicious Minds is a fine example of many, in how it lends itself to acts of betrayal and jealousy on stage with each rearranged line falling in sync with sharp movements that take your breath away.
Exceptional sound, lighting and music - those familiar, well-written songs from a bygone time, go hand in hand determining the tone of each sequence. Led by a great ensemble cast, every performer is fantastically talented and display their prowess not just in their dance or aerial performances but their acting skills as well, as each expression is held under the scrutiny of the audience, unwaveringly.
The beat of every sound on stage and the dance movement shatters every part of your body as it raises every beat of your thumping heart. I cannot express enough how this production takes you over fully and has you in its grips. Every moment on stage is fuelled with dance, yet each and every well-choreographed sequence does not feel repetitive. For it belongs to a different facet of love on display translated via contemporary dance, ballet acts, steamy Latin numbers, saucy burlesque acts and more.
Whilst the story of the Bull and the Matador were at the forefront, it did not hog the spotlight the entire time. It gave the rest of the sequences room to breathe for they were all part of one breath, exploring the complexities of human relationships. Matador takes audiences on a very intimate, emotional and sometimes confronting journey through the many facets of love. It speaks of being comfortable in your own skin and accepting people for who they are. It also explores the trials and tribulations of love, from the pain of unrequited love to the effects of infidelity in a relationship.
Selena & Amado's love is far from perfect - it's fiery, volatile, passionate and intense. But it's their love and it works for them. Watch them work out their trust issues on stage through explosive dance numbers full of steamy, heart racing moments. Magenta & Nuevé's relationship is solid - wild, sexually charged and perhaps confronting. Their combo of latex, pointe shoes, whips and blindfolds, might prove to be too much temptation for some. Estele's story unfolds on stage and above the stage as she battles her emotions and her loyalties. Get to know these fiery, talented characters on MATADOR - the show.