Ivan Aristeguieta seems to have arrived on the Australian comedy scene a fully formed stand up star. That’s because, like any comedy star who seems to be an overnight success he has actually had many years on the boards. He started as a comedian in Venezuela and has been working hard since emigrating; learning our culture and language and getting himself to the world class level of stand-up he’s at now. It’s been a journey of discovery about himself, as well as the world around him.
In the past Ivan’s work has been about the differences between Australia and Venezuela and food, this one is more deeply autobiographical, about his family’s roots in Spain and the passionate nature of their culture. It’s about Duende, love, transformation and Balls (yes, also surprisingly, cricket!). Ivan takes his audience beyond just the differences in culture to the differences between the First and Third world problems. When he jokes about celebrating just surviving a day in violent Venezuela an audience member behind me blurts out ‘So true!’ through his guffaws.
Ivan carefully constructs Matador like a master craftsman, with major set pieces containing joke upon joke within jokes. So many major and minor observations and asides are crammed in with all the skills at his disposal but he makes sure the joins are invisible so you can relax in safe hands and roll with the laughs. Audio visual support is used sparely and wisely. He opens the show with some delightful pictures of his family and of himself as a child in an adorable Matador outfit.
I cannot think of another act I’ve seen where everyone who attends is guaranteed an awesome time. As a bonus a smaller clique in the audience gets to enjoy Ivan’s brilliant Kel Balnaves impersonation while everyone else just admires his ability to do an Aussie accent. I wish Ivan Mucha Mierda for the rest of the run.
Ivan Aristeguieta performs Matador at the Victoria Hotel