Review: The Catchelorette

Carla’s Confessional Cabaret shines a spotlight on the Adelaide dating scene and uncovers all of love’s catches in The Catchelorette. (Image source: Adelaide Fringe)

By Nikita Skuse |@nikita_skuse

Carla’s Confessional Cabaret explores the good, the bad and the very, very ugly of modern dating in The Catchelorette.

If you thought your dating experiences were shocking, wait until you hear about Carla Anita Mattiazzo’s. This performance is perfect for anyone who has ever questioned the quality of the Adelaide dating pool. As Mattiazzo strongly questions, “Decent fucking men of Adelaide, where are you?”

Mattiazzo takes the audience on a trip through her love life, from the nostalgia of MSN and Dolly Doctor as a 16-year-old right through to Tinder and the horror of unsolicited dick pics as a now 34-year-old.

The Catchelorette is an hour of storytelling, musical numbers and realising, “Oh, so I’m not the only one who’s been through this.” It features a soundtrack that perfectly accompanies the storyline, and vocals that give perfect justice to each track.

The show is reminiscent of receiving relationship advice from a dramatic but wise big sister who’s been there and done that. The small stage of The Mill’s The Breakout theatre, combined with Mattiazzo’s ability to hold eye contact with audience members, elevates this personal and conversational atmosphere even more so. Mattiazzo has seen it all when it comes to dating and is now generously willing to share it at this year’s Adelaide Fringe.

Mattiazzo has a voice that fills every inch of the room and a personality to match. She describes herself as being 100 per cent authentic, and on first impressions, that seems to be no word of a lie. Mattiazzo’s presence is bold and unwavering.

From the moment she steps on stage to the moment she leaves it, Mattiazzo is open, loud and expressive. Whilst walking the audience through the highs and lows of her past relationships, Mattiazzo’s emotive nature allows her to snap from crying about a breakup to giddily laughing about romance in the blink of an eye.

Big props are also due for accompanying pianist Ciara Ferguson, who holds a cheeky smirk throughout the entire show, even whilst playing through technical difficulties where she is left without sound. Ferguson miraculously manages to perfectly sync back up with Mattiazzo’s vocals as soon as the issue is resolved, and the pair continue on as though nothing happened.

Although the lighting reflects beautifully off of Mattiazzo’s sparkly jumpsuit, at times it is directed in angles that are harsh on the audience’s eyes. This unfortunately forces members to turn their faces away from the stage or close their eyes, missing parts of the glorious show in front of them.

Even whilst giving a swift middle finger to the misogynists, digital dicks and catfishes of Adelaide, Mattiazzo stays optimistic about love and is more than willing to let her audience know that her DMs are open, if they’re interested. Audiences will be left hoping that Mattiazzo’s upcoming year of dating will be equally as juicy in the hope of a second act next Fringe season.

You can catch The Catchelorette at The Mill until March 21, 2021.

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