Jake Matricardi plays a centuries old stone gargoyle who was struck by lightning whilst perched atop a church, plummeting into the river and rising with blood in his veins and a heartbeat in his chest. Living his days beneath a bridge, this wondrous and creative one man production explores the gargoyle’s existence and the stories that course through his veins, both true and vividly imagined.
The story begins with a sleeping Gargoyle waking to find he is being intently watched by an audience of people. Immediately, Matricardi’s exuberant reactions and presentation of character are evident and expertly portrayed as he tumbles through first fear and worry at the audience’s presence, to curious and talkative as the show continued. With captivating story telling capabilities, the Gargoyle delves into an array of artfully imagined stories of ancestors where the audience is left with a niggling feeling that the stories may or may not be completely made up. The story of a girl, a suspected angel, and a ball however stand out, giving us an insight into the characters real life and real emotions behind the falsities.
Whilst occasionally veering and with a difficult to follow at times storyline, it is obvious from the beginning of the show that Jake Matricardi is highly skilled in his profession, embodying his character as if it is a second skin and bringing to life the simple Gargoyle. Portraying the nervous, boisterous, and hideously conflicted monster convincingly and with a creative flare that comes with pure, natural talent, the part monologue, part physical theatre exploration defied genres and showed a refreshingly new perspective on mythological tales. With an ability to tell a story like no other, Matricardi’s performance was stellar, engaging and worth the 10pm weekday showing.
THREE STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
The Gargoyle is playing at The Butterfly Club as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival until the 23rd of September. Get your tickets and plenty more info HERE.
This reviewer attended the show on the 19th of September.