Rose Matafeo is Finally Dead

The initial conceit of this show is that we’re all present at the funeral for Rose Matafeo. This seems interesting enough, at the start, not to mention it’s probably one of the reasons a lot of people go to the show. Sadly however, the funeral conceit is only really made use of during the first five minutes of the show. It makes for an exciting entrance for Matafeo, and doesn’t have much else to do with the show.

An average show with a few funny moments

This might seem like an unfair criticism, given that Matafeo does talk about death for much of the show, but I would argue it is perfectly valid to say that the ‘funeral’ theme is underused and thus superfluous — mainly because Matafeo says very little about what she thinks is going to happen after she dies. Instead, she talks about how she’s afraid of dying, and about how we’re all going to die, and so on and so forth, but the show is less about “The Funeral of Rose Matafeo” than it is really “Rose Matafeo at a funeral.” This might seem like a small semantic difference and not a huge enough issue to really criticise, but in practice, during the show, the differences between what the show is billed as being about, and what it’s actually about, make a lot of the show feel off-topic and unfocused.

That is not to say that there is nothing funny in this show; there are definitely funny moments. The problem really is that so much of the show feels absolutely scattershot and haphazard. For example, during much of the show Matafeo seemed to do more ad-libbing than actual joke-telling, and this grew old in no time. She also went over-time at the end of the show, running over by about fifteen minutes. It seemed like she really couldn’t seem to find an end for the show, meandering and ad-libbing without direction rather than coming to a poignant conclusion.

Matafeo was often very loud and very energetic, but didn’t always have jokes to back up this energy. The highlights of this show are her karaoke moments. Perhaps she just comes out with too much energy and can’t sustain it. This is disappointing as an audience member, precisely because you have to sit through Matafeo struggling and failing to find an ending for her show. She made only a handful of jokes about funerals. A few toward the start and a few toward the end. Honestly, the gag at the beginning seemed only worthwhile because of the thrill of her leaping out of a coffin to start the show and landing on stage in a ‘vajazzled’ tuxedo. This was a fun entrance, but she does very little throughout the rest of the show to bring back that initial excitement. The closest that we get to it are her karaoke moments, which are fun but short-lived. There’s also the matter of her comedic foil, a guy who is basically a toy boy and only exists in the routine to fan her during an Aerosmith karaoke number. They engage in banter a handful of times during the show, but this feels painfully cringe-worthy because it is so obviously staged.

Overall, this is an average show with a few funny moments, but it’s lack of focus and lack of a solid ending really take the fun out of what might have been a collection of fun stand-up and singing. 

Reviews by chhewitt95

theSpace @ Surgeons Hall

Anatomy of Dating

Just The Tonic at the Caves

Robin Morgan: Free Man

Pleasance Courtyard

Tom Allen: Indeed

Pleasance Courtyard

NewsRevue 2016

Assembly Roxy

Pss Pss

Outside Greyfriars Bobby Bar

Edinburgh - A Tale of Two Towns


Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now



The Blurb

Barry Award Best Newcomer nominee 2016 and Billy T Award winner 2013, Rose Matafeo puts the fun back into funeral with her debut show. Unhappy with the fact she won't be around for the best celebration of her life, Rose is giving herself the send-off she deserves while she's still on earth. Sell-out show at the New Zealand and Melbourne International Comedy Festivals. As seen on Jono and Ben at Ten (TV3, NZ), writer and star of Funny Girls (TV3). 'Genre-transcending comedy theatre masterpiece' (Metro, NZ). ‘Hilarious. Original. A must-see.’ ( ***** (

Most Popular See More

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £46.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £15.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets