Have you planned your own funeral? It seems like a morbid activity and one which shouldn’t make for an amusing Fringe show but New Zealander Rose Matafeo is determined her funeral will be the perfect send off and has planned everything down to the very last detail.
In her bejazzled tuxedo Matafeo leaps out of a coffin, a whirling dervish very much alive, despite the attention to detail of her demise, and she starts with the catering – there are never enough sandwiches at a wake! Her observation of the triangular sandwiches routinely served at funerals sets the tone for the rest of the show and she keeps the crowd going for 50 minutes. In the last ten the show peters out a little. The intention is that this unplanned ending is a quirk of the show but it feels forced and not in keeping with the slickness and energy of the start.
Her “Grief Megamix” gives Matafeo the perfect opportunity to show she can sing as well as she can do comedy with an impressive rendition of funeral “classic” I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing by Aerosmith, and then a play on words with Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman’s, Time to Say Goodbye. And, because two talents is clearly not enough, she performs a hilarious and quite fabulous choreographed routine with her sidekick, Paul Wilson (a work experience boy whose dry sense of humour is a throwback to Jack Dee‘s early days).
Matafeo won the best newcomer award at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival in 2010 and her career has gone from strength to strength since. Last August in Edinburgh she performed a duo show with fellow New Zealand comedian, Guy Montgomery, this year she is doing it on her own and if she can just pull that last ten minutes together the 24-year-old is going to need a much bigger venue to sell-out next year.