Export import: Rose Matafeo on her London sojourn and coming home
Matafeo is well known back home for her stand-up, TV show Funny Girls and for writing and guest-starring on Jono and Ben at Ten. She’s one of our best exports, and she’s heading home for the NZ International Comedy Festival, which runs till May 21.
Despite her success, Matafeo’s kept it real. She’s modest and goofy and loud, yet unsure of herself. “I don’t actually have a concept of who I am as a person,” she says earnestly. “Like, I couldn’t describe myself to you because I’m so unaware of who I am and how I’ve become that person.”
She does miss New Zealand, though. ‘Sun and clean air and nice fish. Just those three things, really.’
As a comedian, she’s become an expert at channelling others. Sassy Best Friend, her new show, is about turning 25, which for Matafeo was a tipping point of self-discovery. It’s a confusing show, she says. “I think it’s just finding this weird amalgamation of pop-culture references of life, shit like that and the things I’ve seen, like women I’ve seen in films, the confidence I wanna have when I get older.”
Matafeo moved to London in 2015 and is finally starting to feel like a local. “I’ve moved my entire life here,” she says. She does miss New Zealand, though. “Sun and clean air and nice fish. Just those three things, really.” She has her trip back to Auckland all planned out, at least in terms of food. “I’m going to take my friend [fellow comedian] Ed Gamble to Fed Deli and make him get the Reuben and the chicken sandwich, and then we’ll go half each and get poutine and then get banoffee pie. Then we’re going to go to Tanuki’s [Cave] to get a sashimi platter. I also want to go to Depot for fish sliders, ham hock and oysters.”
After playing Melbourne and Auckland, Matafeo will take her stand-up show to Edinburgh. It’s hard work and a competitive industry in London, but Matafeo says a drive to succeed gets her through. “You can’t continue to do stand-up by accident because it’s too hard. You have to make the active choice to do it and push past the anxiety that performing might create within you, because you have the drive to do it.”
ROSE MATAFEO: SASSY BEST FRIEND, BASEMENT THEATRE, APRIL 28–MAY 6.
This is published in the May – June 2017 issue of Metro.