comedy review: rose callaghan and mates
On any given Saturday night, The Duke of Wellington in Melbourne’s CBD is bursting at the seams with beer-and-parma loving patrons. For the next month, the pub grub hoards will be joined by some of the country’s best and brightest for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. A little after six, a small, eclectic crowd had taken their seats, pints in hand, in the tiny back room of the pub. We were there to see the critically acclaimed Rose Callaghan, along with some of her carefully selected pals. Rose’s brand of comedy quickly become evident as she grabbed the mic’ to get the night started. Jokes about still being on her learner’s permit, navigating the strange, creepy world of online dating and sharehouse living are funny because they’re relatable. Even though half the crowd came squarely under the heading of ‘northside hipster’, there were still laughs-a-plenty as Rose told of the pitfalls of being a 30-year-old frequent club-goer living with a group of mid-20’s Game of Thrones watching, craft beer drinking arts students. Keeping the night current, Rose shared with us her experience with twerking lessons, even giving us a demonstration – tiny room be damned. Crowd participation was encouraged, like when Rose asked an older couple if they’d heard of Tinder. The gentleman wittily replied ‘it’s for making fires!’ to which our host shot back ‘in my pants!’ Stuart Daulman took over entertaining duties for a while, and his so-obvious-it’s-funny jokes kept us highly amused. Exercising his wit before his own show, ‘The Principal’ starts, Stuart expertly combined verbal humour with a bemused, slightly ridiculous persona. After singing high praises for tram travel and telling us about the Victorian Premier ‘Dennis Naptime’, Stuart handed things back to Rose, who in turn got us warmed up for Adam Hills’ regular Harley Breen. With his deep voice and beard, Harley may make an unlikely comic but it didn’t take long to convince the audience of his stand up chops, with a combination of self-deprecation and perfect timing. The gig was a chance to warm up before Harley’s own show The Secret of Being Awesome, and he used the opportunity to take us through his recent mishaps with drinking and flying. The hour clearly flew by because when Rose wrapped up it really didn’t feel like the night should have been over – although for $15, the show certainly pays for itself. This one comes highly recommended if you don’t really feel like you’ve got your life together and need someone to commiserate with. Rose Callaghan and Mates will be showing at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival from 26 March- 7 April. Want more? Check out our recent Q&A with Rose, where amongst other things, she explains how she attracted the wrath of the ‘Australian hip-hop community’.