Rose Matafeo has been gathering considerable buzz on the local comedy circuit in recent years, and for very good reason - she is the most exciting young comic in the country.
Her 2013 show The Rose Matafeo Variety Hour is wonderfully written and brilliantly delivered. It's a consistently hilarious show with no dull patches and a vast improvement on her 2012 show, which I still enjoyed a great deal.
Let me put it plainly - if you see one Kiwi act at the comedy festival this year, make sure it's Rose Matafeo. She's easily my favourite for the 2013 Billy T award and of all the comedy festival shows I've attended this year, international and local, this one is the best.
From Dragonball Z references to Korean beer adverts, Matafeo's show will be loved by the nerdier audience members in particular. Readings from a book written by a questionable New Zealand celebrity make for fantastic bits of humour with Matafeo's dry delivery and brought about some of the biggest laughs of the night.
Matafeo favours a lot of endearing, self deprecating humour. At one point she showed off a particularly unflattering photo of herself and compared it to an unpleasant looking Star Wars character, while at another she pulled up some creepy weirdo reviews of her own feet.
Occasionally Matafeo's awkward, self deprecating performance doesn't ring completely true - she's an attractive, successful, confident young woman and one of the funniest people in the country. But she's also a through and through New Zealander and it's just part of most of us to be awkward and shy and modest and generally embarrassed, no matter who we are.
This national trait was illustrated clearly in a few audience participation segments of Matafeo's show. The look on one poor chap's face when she brought him up on stage, not to ridicule him but just to include him in a joke, was one of sheer terror.
The Rose Matafeo Variety Hour has a fairly theatrical opening and an even bigger closing, which is in a way the audience helping to make one of her dreams come true - a fitting, high-energy finale to a great hour of comedy.
Very highly recommended.
Rose Matafeo is performing as part of the 2013 New Zealand International Comedy Festival.
You know when you're so excited for something that you get all dressed and ready much too early, and end up waiting round for what feels like an eternity? Sure enough, I found myself lacing my shoes up in anticipation to see Rose Matafeo almost an hour too early... Sigh.
The wait was well worth it. After making what may just be the greatest eight-wheeled entrance of all time, Rose Matafeo proceeded to spend the next hour convincing me why we should be best friends. She even used a powerpoint and an address book full of her favourite cats (this is totally something I would have! Coincidence? I think not). Admittedly, the 'potential best friend' scenario was wishful thinking on my part, I'm fairly certain her hour of comedy was aimed equally at everyone in the audience... Sigh.
From describing her first case of buyers regret, to her internet-famous feet, to - my personal favourite - reciting from a certain local actress' latest book, Rose Matafeo remained unassuming, (often a little more than) slightly awkward and very, very funny. Did I mention how likeable she is?
I'm usually into clevery cohesive stand up routines (the kind that wraps it all up neatly at the end) but Rose's Variety Hour opened my mind to the power of the unexpected - she preferred to wrap her show up with an impromtu rave. Rose's cultural references are brilliantly specific and I found her show to be like the best kind of party; full of handmade banners, party hats, strange beverage concotions and many suprises.
Maybe this is getting a little deep, but something I love about comedy is the way it acts as a timely reminder to not take things, particularly oneself, too seriously. This occured to me as I left The Basement with my mind on my awaiting assignments. On the way out I passed Rose, her arms glittering with tens of stick on jewels... I guess this makes her my role model.
While I feel this may have been more of fan-girl rant than anything else, I suppose that counts as a response. I highly recommend Rose's Variety Hour to anyone who's into hat comedy, Bob Marley jokes or has ever been a child. There we go - R & R covered. Rose is great. Although, the rumors are true - she is pretty shit at impressions.
It's no suprise that Rose is one of this year's Billy T nominees and there's no need for decisions when it comes to seeing her show. Off you go!
The Rose Matafeo Variety Hour is exactly that− a whole bunch of variety.
The quirky comedian exudes clumsiness and retro vibes when she stumbles onto the stage on roller skates. After a few moments of speaking though, Rose’s clumsiness disappears and is replaced instead by a very witty unflowery take on the world.
Rose sets out to not take herself too seriously, and seems oblivious to the fact that she is outrageously funny. Her every action and sentence amplifies the audience with her awkwardness and sarcasm getting us all laughing.
Fulfilling everything in her Comedy Festival brief, from hat comedy (yes, what?) to impressions, Rose leaves no one disappointed.
I would definitely recommend this show if a bit of randomness doesn’t scare you. Her cat humour and Jar Jar Binks references will get you hooked on this talented comedian.
Rose’s cutesy charm captivates and will definitely leave you wanting more. I was surrounded by a bubbly and thoroughly entertained audience, solidifying Rose Matafeo’s Billy T Award Nominee status. Rose is fresh-faced brilliance.
This week the full programme of the NZ International Comedy Festival 2013 was released and in celebration we were treated to one hell of a showcase introducing this years Billy T nominees at Billy T James, Q Theatre. Rose Matafeo , Eli Matthewson, Pax, Tom Furniss and Joseph Moore each gave us a ten minute peek of their upcoming shows.
New Zealand Comedy Trust created the annual Billy T Award to support up-and-coming comedians and take their comedy career to the next level.
These final five nominees for the 2013 Billy T Award were selected on their proven comedic ability, talent, dedication, current form and potential, and will be judged on all aspects of their 2013 NZ International Comedy Festival show.
The night was hosted by Steve Wrigley and Ben Hurley whose well honed banter warmed up the audience and got us in the festival mood.
With the daunting task of being first up was Pax, but this energetic comedian had brilliant material that made for a more than great start to the show. He’s a confident stand-up, and totally belongs behind a microphone as he confronted the audience with race, sex and uncontrollable accents!
Rose Matafeo brought a change in pace with her more understated brand of comedy. Even her crowd hype had an ‘anticlimax’ as she monotoned through her self deprecating material. She is a bright funny stand-up and a great representative for young female comics and cat cardigans.
Tom Furniss finished up the second half by telling us that his good year has resulted in less material, leading him to read us the diary of 16 year old Gordon from 1984. This result is various boyhood stories culminating in the drawing lady parts. He’s a more surreal comedian with a clever set which may encourage some anarchic behaviour.
Starting the second half of the show was Joseph Moore who gave a slick and well rehearsed set with a hilarious insight to the effects of ‘that’ Countdown music. As an experienced actor and performer there was no hint of nerves in this polished performance. This will be Joseph’s first solo show where you can expect quick witted and silly observations.
Last up was Eli Mattewson, a butter wouldn’t melt looking guy with edgy material to make your mum blush. Fresh from a run at last years Edinburgh Fringe there’s a lot of buzz around him and he didn’t disappoint He’s a strong performer who revelled in the audiences enthusiasm. His risqué material may have shocked more as it comes from such a sweet looking young man. A strong comedy talent who will no doubt have many more tricks up his sleeve.
To close off the evening was last years Billy T Winner, the wonderful Guy Williams. He really is a treasure of New Zealand comedy who tackled the silly and surreal in his calm and collected routine. He seems well and truly ready to pass on the baton to the next rising star as he has definitely earned his stripes.
This was an evening to be proud of as these young comedians who have shown that the high quality of our up-and-coming comedy talent is not to be ignored!