As the audience file in Rose Matafeo is playing table tennis with members of the front row, in a gimmick that does not factor into the later story at any point. This transparent effort to endear herself to the audience as literally approachable is one that pays off, breaking down the initial barrier between comedian and crowd and allowing Matafeo to thrive off the energy of the vocal audience. A highlight of the show comes when Matafeo responds to an audience members overly-passionate reaction to the word "crochet", which is testament to the New Zealand-born comedian's abiilities as a comedian but perhaps also to the fact that Horndog is a tight but slightly forgettable hour of stand-up.
Matafeo could have done more to imbue this hour with a structure or distinctive style
Matafeo states early on that this show won't have a message to it, a welcome and necessary reassurance to any Fringe-going regular tired of breakup hours and last-minute reveals. Instead it focuses entirely on her belief in herself as a woman and her development as a teenager, resting heavily on anecdotes of childhood awkwardness. Though it is refreshing to have an hour that doesn't feel the need to berate its audience with a lesson, Matafeo could have done more to imbue this hour with a structure or distinctive style that would make it more distinguishable amongst the Edinburgh Fringe pack.
Horndog deserves to be Rose Matafeo's breakthrough hour as it is endearingly personal and fitfully hilarious. The Australian comedian has carefully honed a tight hour of anecdotes and visual gags breaking down the awkwardness of adolescence through a millenial lens. However the issue comes with the fact that this is perhaps the most well-worn ground of anecdotal comedy and without a significant hook or structure too much weight is placed on Matafeo's comic style to make the show memorable. Whilst the show is funny and Matafeo is likeable, it is questionable whether she succeeds in making a show that truly stands out.