Rose Matafeo: Sassy Best Friend
- Brian Donaldson
- 23 August 2017
This article is from 2017
A frenetic yet socially astute analysis of bigotry in this Fringe follow-up
After inviting everyone to her funeral last year, Rose Matafeo has sass to burn this time around in anther energetic yet nuanced political show. Continually fighting with the introverted and extroverted parts of herself, the New Zealander truly lets rip once she takes to the stage with her coyness becoming part of the game.
The sassy side of her bursts to the fore (and no wonder given that she has all that sassy curly hair to contend with) while she traces the origins of her dual identity. Michael Jackson was her hero when she was a kid and while she acknowledges the probably dark side to his life behind closed doors, she doesn't let that get in the way of appreciating his art. But above all, they share one thing in common (asides from being legends on the dancefloor): they both had ambitions to be white women. Indeed, Matafeo is at pains to point out the leading roles that non-white actresses would never be considered for, making this a defiant clarion call against racism as well as institutionalised misogyny. But as ever with Matafeo, the big points she makes are drenched in fun times as she works her stage like a poised cat, mock-flirting with a middle-aged man in the front row, lip-synching to her heart's content, and taking spot-on pot-shots at women having to take pretty much the entire responsibility for birth control.
It's difficult to imagine Rose Matafeo repeating the wild energy of her first two Fringe shows year after year, and it will be intriguing to see if she comes up with something a little more considered and a lot less frenzied in the coming Augusts.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 27 Aug, 9.45pm, £7–£9 (£6–£8).