The production opens on the Gargoyle awakening from slumber, startled but ready to share their stories. Stories of life, creation, religion and love. Stories that weave the web of who they are and how they came to be where we, the audience, finds them.
What follows is an explosive display of life, of what it is to suddenly find oneself alive and to try, sometimes in vain, to make sense of the world you find yourself in. There is an enticing naivety to the title character that makes it impossible to not empathise with. You are enthralled to watch as the manic spirit in front of you shifts, rapidly, from an old sage to a child at play.
Jake Matricardi is an utterly flawless performer. Every moment, every nuance, every gesture, large and small, was beautifully crafted and considered. Paired with a smooth and at times erratic vocal delivery, Jake’s commitment to the character is a testament to his skill as an artist.
This performance is however let down by the venue. A more intimate and quiet space would have allowed moments to land and ensure that distractions were at a minimum. With some firm dramaturgy and a heavier handed director, would see this production iron out the kinks and be ready to wow audiences nationally and beyond.
Fringe, at its core, should be an avenue for artists to challenge themselves and audiences, The Gargoyle achieves this, and more. These are the shows audiences should be flocking to and supporting and I hope that The Gargoyle will enjoy full and supportive audiences in its final nights at Melbourne Fringe.
The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place, Melbourne
Performance: Thursday 20 September 2018 – 10.00pm
Season continues to 23 September 2018
Information and Bookings: www.melbournefringe.com.au
Image: Jake Matricardi (supplied)
Review: Gavin Roach