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Review: Rose Matafeo’s Horndog

<p>There’s an old adage people like to use when explaining comedy, which is “comedy equals tragedy plus time”. Although the abundance of depressed and alcoholic comedians seems to support this saying, it is also true that comedy can come from many different, happy emotions and from positive experiences. Rose Matafeo’s Horndog is a show primarily about celebrating things that this young, New Zealander stand-up loves and it’s a delightful change of pace.</p>

There’s an old adage people like to use when explaining comedy, which is “comedy equals tragedy plus time”. Although the abundance of depressed and alcoholic comedians seems to support this saying, it is also true that comedy can come from many different, happy emotions and from positive experiences. Rose Matafeo’s Horndog is a show primarily about celebrating things that this young, New Zealander stand-up loves and it’s a delightful change of pace.

The Regent Room at the Melbourne Town Hall where Horndog is currently showing is a cosy little room. Matafeo described it as being one of the worst for doing stand-up, primarily because the antique carpets mean drinks are not allowed in. The high ceilings are also a disadvantage as stand up is traditionally performed in rooms with a low ceiling to help create the personal, familiar vibes. Despite this, Matafeo managed to fill the hour with very entertaining and witty observations and goofy anecdotes. She’s one of those comedians who make you feel like they’re your best friend by the end of the show.

When we first sat down the TV on the stage that Matafeo was to use as a prop throughout the show displayed the show’s title, in word art font very reminiscent of Microsoft 2003 with a millennial pink background. That choice of font and colours perfectly matched the themes of nostalgia and millennial culture that Horndog is all about.

The major theme of the show was the idea of getting obsessed with things, finding weird hobbies and passions in life that bring you unexpectedly large amounts of joy. Rose talks about some the things she’s been passionate about in her life, ranging from crochet to Michael Jackson.

Matafeo is a great performer and actress. She incorporated her acting skills throughout the show, weaving in impressions and skits in addition to more traditional stand-up. The variety of styles of joke telling meant there was never a dull moment.

Although the show was an upbeat, light hearted story, Matafeo managed to also add in some more serious issues. She shared some fresh and entertaining thoughts on sexism in the entertainment industry, a topic that is probably very popular at this year’s festival.

At the end of the show, Matafeo explained she didn’t really know how to conclude since there wasn’t a clear, overall message to her show. She then performed an elaborately choreographed K-pop dance along to a music video on the TV. It was slightly absurd to watch the commitment she put into the dance despite not being a dancer herself, and that perfectly captured the true meaning of Horndog.

 
Farrago's magazine cover - Edition Three 2021

FARRAGO MAGAZINE EDITIONS FIVE AND SIX AVAILABLE NOW!

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