Rose Matafeo is Finally Dead
A livewire debut that positively sizzles before winding itself down
Comparisons have already been made between Luisa Omielan and livewire New Zealander Rose Matafeo for their shared über-charisma. Maybe a trip back into the Fringe archive produces an even closer connection: alongside Australian Julia Morris, Matafeo shares an abundant energy, a love of lip-synching and a certain over-the-top antipodean-ness. One thing is for sure, this twentysomething act has no intention of leaving this world with a whimper, and has even started planning her own funeral.
After a dramatic entrance, our tuxedo-clad whirlwind storms through as many aspects of the undertaking business as she can muster, focusing largely on the soundtrack ('funeral bangers' as she puts it) to her big day. Not everyone would plump for a spot of Sean Paul to send them off to that other place, but this gives her a perfect excuse for more mimed larks.
The hour, unsurprisingly, can't quite maintain the opening's fireworks, and her dipping into impersonations of Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe hints at a little bit of filler. There's enjoyable recurring banter with her work-experience sidekick Paul and, like the trousers she encounters in the choreographed 'clothes-shop' routine, she's keen to squeeze in some kind of message about body issues and gender inequality. A highly impressive Fringe debutante, Rose Matafeo might be pondering her ultimate demise, but her career is far from checking out.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 28 Aug, 5.45pm, £7–£9 (£6.50–£8.50).