Love and Being Female in Comedy with Rose Matafeo
Rising star Auckland-born Rose Matafeo recently won the prestigious Best Comedy Show Award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, one of comedy’s biggest prizes, for her show Horndog. Matafeo, 26, talked to online news site Broadly about love, life, and the sexual politics of the wider industry.
At 18, Matafeo was the best newcomer at the 2010 New Zealand International Comedy Festival, and it wasn’t long before she was cracking jokes on TV screens: first, as a presenter on (now defunct) channel U, before going on to be lead writer and star in the New Zealand sketch show Funny Girls.
Cut to August 2018 and Matafeo is on stage again, this time collecting the prestigious Best Comedy Show Award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for her show Horndog. It’s a show about desire, the search for love, getting distracted while masturbating, and a little about loneliness, too. Matafeo describes the win as “totally unexpected”.
“It was so funny that it happened, in the most surreal way,” she tells Broadly correspondent Michael Segalov at London’s Soho Theatre, where Horndog recently completed a four-month run. “I’m an incredibly ambitious person, but I had no plan of how to process it.”
Does Matafeo think now is a good time to be a woman in comedy? “There’s never a good time,” she says. “I’m wary to say we’re having a moment though, because by definition that implies it’s a blip or something that will go away.”
When she’s actually on stage, Matafeo thinks things have improved. Subjects, which not too long ago might have been considered off-putting to audiences: Woman’s masturbation habits, periods, and contraception, are being discussed freely. “Women were talking about this years ago in stand-up and were just getting fucked for it,” she says, “now it’s comfortable, for me at least, to talk casually about it on stage.”
Original article by Michael Segalov, Broadly, January 31, 2019.
Photo by Suki Dhanda.