/ The Garden of Unearthly Delights

Ivan Aristeguieta - Matador

I love comedy that builds people up, gets everyone laughing at themselves, and incorporates a certain level of flamboyance. I'm not sure what rock I've been hiding under, but Ivan Aristeguieta just ticked off all the items on my comedy checklist. I'm not sure how I didn't find him sooner.

Matador is an endearing and relatable show about family, growth and acceptance, and the nuances of Latino love, in all its forms. Ivan is a wonderful curator of stories; I particularly love the subtle weave of his tales which brings multiple topics together throughout the show with a flawless ease. It makes him a joy to listen to.

His social observations are shockingly spot on - how puns are like dick pics, how bloody poop is the ultimate show of love and devotion, and how the shimmy is an uncontrollable medical condition that needs understanding and acceptance. It leaves me with much to think about, especially regarding my love of puns.

My favourite aspect of the evening was learning about duende - a sort of undefinable feeling of soulful evocation and artistic connection coupled with the realities of life and loss. This is an element Ivan has in spades, felt not only in his comedic performance but his short, poignant poetry piece.

Perhaps it's my own love of passion and passionate people, but Ivan strikes a chord with me. He's veraciously entertaining, and his eyebrow raises are to die for. It's early days for Fringe 2018, but he's already sitting at the top of my highlight reel and I think he'll stay there.

★★★★½