Heidi and Rose in: A Guide to the Uncool

Basement Theatre, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland

19/05/2009 - 23/05/2009

NZ International Comedy Festival 2007-09, 2013

Production Details


Heidi O’Loughlin and Rose Matafeo are two sassy New Yorker’s looking for true love in the Big Apple… not to mention a totally cute pair of Jimmy Choos! Just like the ‘Sex in the City’! Actually their true identities are that of two young comediennes from Auckland. They aren’t very much like Sex AND the City, however they do LIVE in a city and have heard what sex is from many of their friends. 

Prepare to be schooled in laughter as two of New Zealand’s hottest young talents present their one hour ‘action-packed adventure-lecture’ on everything that is deemed uncool. Both past graduates of the Comedy Festival’s Class Comedians programme, Heidi and Rose have taken little time to make their mark on the scene.

Both still full-time students, Heidi is the winner of the ‘Spirit of the Festival’ at the 2008 NZ International Comedy Festival Awards, co-founder of the comedy club at the University of Auckland, and winner of the Green Room award at the 2008 NZ Comedy Guild Awards; whilst Rose, the youngest pro comedian in the country has appeared on both TVOne’s Close Up and TV3’s Campbell Live, won Best Actress for the Auckland 48 Hour Film Competition, and is hailed by critics as having "a lot more star quality than some of the hacks twice her age" (Theatreview.org.nz).

So who is better to teach the ways of uncool than two girls who have seen Braveheart TWICE? You may think you’re already cool enough to miss this unique opportunity to learn from the experts, but ask yourself: "Am I UNcool?", "Is my mum the one who tells me I’m cool?", and "Should I grow a rat’s tail?" – If you even considered answering any of these questions then this show is for you! So be sure to bring a sharp pencil, an open mind and any Shania Twain CDs you may own which we will kindly destroy for you.

Dates:  Tues 19 – Sat 23 May, 7pm
Venue:  The Basement, Lower Greys Ave, City 
Tickets:  Adults $15, Conc. $12.50  
Bookings:  0800 TICKETEK or www.ticketek.co.nz  

1hr, no interval

Frequent moments of pure joyous comedy

Review by Sian Robertson 20th May 2009

A young crowd has flocked to see Rose Matafeo and Heidi O’Laughlin embark on their ‘adventure lecture’ to educate us on that which is uncool. They proclaim themselves the third and fourth most qualified for the job in the Auckland/Waikato region.

Unassuming stooge, Joseph Harper, has the task of warming up the audience before the main act and notching up their coolness factor by comparison. And warm us up he does. The diamond-patterned-vest-wearing epitome of uncool reads his entire piece haltingly from a notebook without looking up, except to frown at us when we laugh at something that wasn’t meant to be funny. He gets us going at high rate of laughs per minute and I hope he becomes a permanent fixture of the NZ comedy scene.

Heidi and Rose’s very tongue-in-cheek analysis is both a guide to the cool and the uncool. Though what becomes clear is that it’s an impossible paradox: the state of being cool is a tenuous one, subject not only to fickle consensus but also destroyed by it – it’s cool to be uncool, even (especially) if no one notices how much you’re not trying. And though their self-conscious stage personalities think they’re cool, they’re not even… Does that make Rose and Heidi the ultimate in cool? Who cares? Not them.

Rose has the awkward energy of a hyperactive puppy trying hard to behave, and dominates the ‘presentation’ in a chatty, sincere way. She reprimands Heidi when she tries to insert bits that aren’t meant to be in the show, and nips the music in the bud (provided by Brendon Green, lounging at the side with his guitar) any time it whiffs of uncool.

They present their ‘lecture’ in segments: Hairstyles, Fashion, How to take drugs in a cool way, the Philosophy of Cool, Dating, the most uncool subjects in comedy, Music, Daytime TV, with well-chosen and very funny images projected on a screen to illustrate their examples.

However, they introduce ideas that sometimes aren’t followed through. For example the Philosophy of Cool is confusing and brushed over too quickly. Rose blurts something about Plato, which I didn’t catch, then moves onto to something completely different. We already know that mullets and the Venga Boys aren’t cool. I wanted them to dig deeper.

Structurally it’s a bit soupy. A Guide to the Uncool deviates from its format without warning and turns out to be an endearingly piecemeal variety show, incorporating songs, dance, performance art, an ad spoof, audience teasing, and a scroggin scramble, in between lecture items. Some of it is only very loosely related to the central premise, but most of it is warranted because they get to slip in some very funny jokes/scenarios.

Patchiness notwithstanding, the pair are energetic, unpretentious and full of ideas, and though the first night was a bit bumpy, there are frequent moments of pure joyous comedy. I overhead Heidi saying after the show that they’d accidentally missed out some of the jokes. More than likely the show will improve as it ages during the week.

For a finale they go back to the lecture format and let us in on the big secret: what does it mean to be cool? You have to go along to find out the answer to that one. 
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