Thistle Hall, Cnr Cuba & Arthur Streets, Wellington

10/05/2013 - 11/05/2013

The Basement, Auckland

14/05/2013 - 18/05/2013

NZ International Comedy Festival 2007-09, 2013

Production Details

In The Rose Matafeo Variety Hour, Rose Matafeo is going to do a variety of things that are hopefully funny and entertaining. These are some of the things she might do: jokes, songs, sketch, mime, magic, animal tricks, dance, roller skating, drink some water, cats, political satire, funny faces, hat comedy, impressions.

As seen on U Live and A Night At The Classic.

Matafeo is shit at impressions”

Rising comedy star”

Twitter: @rose_matafeo  

Dates: Fri 10 – Sat 11 May, 8.30pm
Venues: Thistle Hall, Wellington 
Tickets: Entry By Koha* service fees may apply
Show Duration: 1 hour

Dates: Tue 14 – Sat 18 May, 7pm 
Venues: The Basement, Auckland 
Tickets: Adults $18.00 | Conc. $15.00
Groups $15.00* service fees may apply
Bookings: 0800 TICKETEK (842 538)

Show Duration: 1 hour

1 hr


Review by Kate Ward-Smythe 15th May 2013

Rose Matafeo’s opening night audience is a friendly, youthful European bunch; there’s a positive vibe in the refurbished Basement bar and theatre. We (two mothers in their 40s) are not the target market, but my motivation for coming is to see how Rose has grown and developed as a comedian. She’s 21 now, hosts a TV show and, as a stand up, has clocked up impressive comedy mileage.  

Those in the audience who are the same generation as Rose and into the same stuff laugh heartily at their shared experiences and have a great night. The two young men next to me are clearly huge fans of Rose and are fully entertained. I glaze over when Rose starts talking about Dragon Ball Z and listing the DVDs she’s been watching and how they affect her mood at parties, especially when her closing comment is, “I know nothing of the world.” By contrast, the guys next to me think that’s hilarious. 

Rose’s entrance is unexpected, but I can’t help thinking, why rollerblade on then not use it as a build to something more, even if it’s just one gag? Sure, it is over the top, but what is the connection and relevance? There isn’t one – she freely admits that she did it to tick off the list of things she’d promised her show would include, having written her press release before she wrote her show.   

That about sums up Rose’s show for me…. A bit ‘make it up as you go along’ even at the expense of missing comic connections, hitting the occasional comedy cul-de-sac, or patchy ‘hit and miss’ moments. It is an uneven night of comedy.

The top of the show is better prepared than the rest. I enjoy her section on Trade Me feedback, which is well delivered and constructed, as is her educational use of MS paint, visually reinforced with her PowerPoint presentation.

Her museum experience in Rotorua, her Bob Marley fun facts, comments about ‘adult’ vs ‘child’ dollars and wiki-feet facts, are humorous, even if a tad ‘borrowed’, in that some of the comedy comes from reading out what other people have written.

Much of Rose’s night is dedicated to putting people down, in a ‘name and shame’ kind of way. But often there is no added comic perspective from Rose. She seems to enjoy sticking it to mainstream, commercially savvy, successful young women such as Taylor Swift and Kimberley Crossman. Personally, put-downs are not a style of comedy I enjoy. It relies on cheap, easy, obvious laughs. At times Rose’s approach is one step away from just mean. 

Sometimes she’s just, like, plain hard to hear, it’s like, too fast, too mumbly. Sorry. My fault, my ears are too old I guess. Whatever. 

As I write this, I’m feeling like it’s OK to just slap down a few unrelated thoughts and feelings without bothering to structure or proof read my review properly before sending it to the editor. Rose’s show just kind of, I don’t know, put me in that sort of mood.     

I guess, for me, personally, it terms of delivery and content, apart from the bits that were poking fun at specific people, the rest just felt kind of a bit ‘once over lightly’ and a tad disposable. Except the Trade Me bit. Oh, and I did really laugh a lot and enjoy her impression of “every girl in town after 1am”. For me it is 300% more engaging and persuasive than the other impressions.  

Flippant comments, such as the futility of including Rose in a celebrity’s ‘comedy shows to watch’ list, if the celebrity is just ‘playing the race card’, (because Rose tells us she is denying her cultural heritage), seem inconsequential. This is because after making that stand, Rose doesn’t explore or explain it… So I was left thinking – why? That’s what curious people do. Too many throw away comments, too many throw away moments, can be disengaging. 

I know Rose is an impressive woman of substance – I applaud her recent on-line condemnation of Shock-jock Dominic Harvey’s sick joke about Gracie from X-Factor. So I guess I was expecting her to scratch around a bit more, for material that is more memorable and original, rather than second-hand and cursory.  

At times it feels like her disjointed loose jumbled style is intentional, yet at other times, she looked genuinely lost as she refers to her set/check list. The show’s overall momentum is all over the place, as a result. But as I mentioned, the two young men next to me laugh at everything, so what do I know. 

After the second hand offerings, the little bits and pieces, she announces it’s our turn to get involved as she is going to rip into her finale, because…. It is the end of her show. She takes a very mainstream turn – and again, it’s a borrowed concept – this time from the hit TV talk show, Ellen. After stripping off her outer-layer to reveal a skimpy sequined top, Rose looks energized and happy dancing round stage. Kimberley and Taylor might even be motivated to say, “You go girl, party on!” Personally, I am disengaged. 

I genuinely look forward to hearing Rose’s comic views and perspectives in another few years’ time. It feels like she is on the verge of so much more than what I heard and saw in this show.


Rose Matafeo May 16th, 2013


Editor May 16th, 2013

Abject apology! The second half of Kate's review of Rose's show was inadvertently omitted. Renistated now.

Sam Jackson May 16th, 2013

Well if she’s happy to be niche and esoteric she can write the review off as irrelevant. On the other hand if she wants to reach a wider audience there may be some valuable feedback here. Either way I wouldn’t think complacency is to be encouraged. She’s far too young to stagnate.

Joseph Moore May 16th, 2013

Man, this review seems real bitter. Sorry you didn't get the references! Maybe a good thing to do in this case is not to "glaze over" but to try and appreciate the humour anyway. I've never seen Dragon Ball Z, but "whatever", I felt Rose's enthusiasm for the topic was enough to engage me.

Also, putting down a wildly succesful and wealthy mainstream popstar, probably less mean than putting down an up and coming New Zealand comic for engaging with a specific demographic JUST SAYIN.

christopher May 16th, 2013

"Personally, put-downs are not a style of comedy I enjoy. It relies on cheap, easy, obvious laughs. At times Rose's approach is one step away from just mean."

"As I write this, I'm feeling like it's OK to just slap down a few unrelated thoughts and feelings without bothering to structure or proof read my review properly before sending it to the editor. Rose's show just kind of, I don't know, put me in that sort of mood. "


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Endearing quirkiness

Review by Gabrielle Beran 11th May 2013

One thing’s for sure, Rose Matafeo certainly lives up to her word. In her blurb for this year’s Comedy Festival show she says she might do “jokes, songs, sketch, … dance, roller skating, drink some water, cats, political satire, funny faces, hat comedy, impressions,” and she definitely delivers.

The quaint venue of Cuba Street’s Thistle Hall suits Matafeo’s casual approach to the night where copious “ums” and “yeahs” fill the gaps between some decent observational comedy, stories from her life and well-deserved mockery of Kimberley Crossman.

Matafeo is a great story-teller and shares some hilarious one-liners from her thoughts with us. Her use of a projector and Microsoft Paint are excellent and ensure that the forty-five minute slot has movement and has, as it is described, variety.

Matafeo’s impressions are delightful, with a particularly excellent rendition of Jill from Home Improvement, and it is always nice to have a plethora nineties references. However, Matafeo’s set has moments that seem unrehearsed and sloppy.

She has proven herself to be original and creative in the past and is in a stage of life where there is so much to poke fun at, yet she gets most of her laughs out of two books written by other people. While Matafeo’s endearing quirkiness is present in almost every aspect, more of her intelligent jokes would be great.

The ending to the show is witty and has such promise, were it not for the awkwardness of the audience. 

The Rose Matafeo Comedy Hour is like having a yarn about a few random topics with a good friend. Matafeo is energetic and engages well with the audience. There’s room for improvement, or maybe she really was just short on time: too busy reading books, drinking Korean beer and hanging out with her cat. 


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