What: Matt Tarrant EVOLVE
Where: The Flamingo at Gluttony
When: for the rest of this week, to Sun 15 March
Cost: $30-35, Concession $27-32, tickets here
Matt Tarrant has won Fringe Awards for seven years in a row: his show each year is about as close as you can get to a bankable night out during festival season. EVOLVE is full of fun and wholesome illusions and clever mentalism that the will leave you smiling.
Set in the Flamingo at Gluttony, Tarrant’s show is surprisingly huge. I think it would probably work better in a slightly smaller venue (there are some seats where you can’t see the stage clearly), but there are huge screens set up and clever use of handheld cameras on stage gives you an up-close view of Tarrant’s tricks. Considering the priciest tickets are $35, the size of the audience isn’t ideal: for that price, I’d definitely want to be sitting closer to the front.
Tarrant’s on-stage presence was warm, sincere and charming, and he got a huge round of applause when he mentioned being a local: we love an Adelaide boy. The mentalist work Tarrant did was really fun, and even when it seemed to go wrong, suddenly turned out right. I personally preferred the cool card tricks and sleight-of-hand work Tarrant did: that was where I found the true ‘wow’ factor. The final act was VERY cool, and a really bubbly, happy note to end on.
The EVOLVE of the title is a reference to the theme of the show – Tarrant’s own evolution as a magician and performer. It seemed a bit trite at times, but it clearly worked – there was so many adorable kids in the audience losing their minds whenever he did his next trick. Hopefully, as Tarrant says, we’ll be watching some shows from them in a few years’ time. This is a good show to take the family to as the Fringe winds down!