Basement Theatre, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland

26/04/2014 - 03/05/2014

NZ International Comedy Festival 2014

Production Details

Rose is going to do some stand-up for a bit and then she’s going to order a pizza (maybe from Dominos but this could change depending on her mood) and then she’ll do some more stand-up until the pizza arrives and then she’ll probably eat as much of the pizza as she can.

Winner – Billy T Award, 2013, NZ International Comedy Festival 

“She is the most exciting young comic in the country” – TV3

Dates:  Sat 26 & Tue 29 April – Sat 3 May, 7pm
Venue:  The Basement, Auckland
Tickets:  Adults $20.00 | Conc. $16.00
Groups 10+ $18.00* service fees may apply
Bookings:  0800 TICKETEK (842 538)

Show Duration: 1 hour


Like a close friend sharing her experiences

Review by Robbie Nicol 27th Apr 2014

I have seen many comedians who are roughly the same age as the twenty-two year old Rose Matafeo, who are therefore roughly the same age as me. What I realise a short while into Matafeo’s Rose Matafeo – Pizza Party is that this is the first time I am seeing someone perform comedy that is really about living in this age. With jokes that benefit from being timely rather than timeless, Matafeo demonstrates that it’s okay to talk about your life as it actually is, rather than doing an impression of the comedians that came before you. 

There is a projector at the back of the stage displaying the phrase, in garish 1970s typeface and colouring, ‘Pizza Party’. At one point Matafeo pulls the image aside in its Preview window (“Use slideshow, Rose. Nah, I’m gonna use Preview.”) and proceeds to share her browser tabs with us. She tells us that someone’s browser tabs are a uniquely personal thing, something that someone might excitingly leave in a screenshot by mistake, and she’s right. A good twenty-five percent of my waking life is spent drifting through the internet. Sharing that part of her life with us doesn’t feel gimmicky. Rather, it feels strange that nobody has been addressing this huge part of my life before. 

Perhaps other comedians are hesitant that they might put off older audience members. They might be frightened of isolating their audience members who don’t understand why using Internet Explorer is a punchline. Based on the audience’s reaction to Rose’s performance, they needn’t have worried. Matafeo is the perfect every girl, and her performance is never ‘superior’. Her relaxed delivery, combined with her seemingly total honesty, makes her seem like a close friend sharing her experiences. You don’t need to have grown up in the 1990s to enjoy listening to her; being human is enough.

That relaxed honesty about contemporary life is met with a cinematic absurdism that is easily found in a generation that grew up on television. Fictional characters in Matafeo’s jokes often state their own job or profession (“attorney at law”, “business”), and like Fry and Laurie’s ‘Peter and John’ sketches – “damn it, Marjorie” – it feels as though these jokes are dependent on the audience having seen these character tropes before. It is telling that Rose’s 2011 solo show was titled Life Lessons I’ve Learnt From The 60s Based On Things I’ve Seen On Television.

Like her impression of Audrey Hepburn as a difficult flatmate, Matafeo’s act drifts from Kiwi understatement to American theatricality. While Matafeo’s frequent use of props and technology might make it seem as though she is not yet confident enough to talk without assistance, I would argue that the artefacts from her life convince us she is sharing something personal, and the props she has made for the show only contribute to that American theatricality.

Matafeo has simultaneously made me feel more accepting of my own life, while reaffirming her status on the New Zealand comedy circuit. I won’t spoil the secret of why the show is called ‘Pizza Party’, but let’s just say that Rose’s show is worth seeing regardless.


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