Review: Rose Callaghan

5 years ago
Til Knowles

Rose Callaghan’s debut solo show is a wild ride. Everyone, from the reviewers and audience members to Facebook users and the performer herself, is very opinionated about Callaghan’s show and it’s successes and failures. Rose Before Hoes is a rapid, scattershot and personal hour of stand up.


Callaghan’s material touches on topics that have the potential to be both too broad (dating in your thirties) and too personal (being diagnosed with ADHD), yet she’s talented enough performer to weave the cliche into the experiential and the intimate into the relatable, all while being very funny. The pacing is messy, and Callaghan often double checks with her tech guy to make sure she hasn’t missed any of the jokes, but the strength of her personality carries the crowd through these rawer, more self conscious moments. There’s a nervous yet whip smart atmosphere, and the jokes that land are sped through almost as fast as the ones that don’t. Callaghan’s strongest material is the content she presents as stories. Her stage presence is mesmerising and she yanks the crowd’s attention towards her punchlines, even as her own concentration wanders.

The audience are just as noisy as the performer. Perhaps it’s something about Callaghan’s extroversion, or the size of the space, that makes so many people feel comfortable yelling things out, eating crisps, or loudly whispering to their neighbour. Shockingly, the main source of heckling came from a reviewer. Callaghan’s improvisation background means that she’s an expert in dealing with raucous crowds, and some of the biggest laughs come from the interactions between comedian and audience.

Overall, Callaghan’s is one of the most bombastic, honest and funny debut solo shows you’ll come across. She’s worth seeing, and even if you can’t make it to her show (MICF is only on for the next four days), make sure you remember her name and catch her on a line-up sometime.

Rose Before Hoes is on at 6pm until Sunday the 17th of April. Tickets range between $15 – $22, and are available online and at the door.

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