Rose Callaghan: No Way Rosé

By Hooi Khaw

No Way Rosé? Yes way Rose!

Rose Callaghan is delightfully honest, but absurd in her humorously titled show No Way RosĂ©. The title – which combines alcohol and puns – gives the impression that it’s targeted at younger women, though Callaghan’s material caters well to a particular sense of humour, rather than an age range or gender. Admittedly, this was the predominant demographic of the audience that night, but there were definitely older women, and men in the audience enjoying the show equally.

Callaghan starts with well-mined material exploring themes of money, dating and relationships. Although she presents these topics from her own point of view, providing an inlet for the audience to relate to her in surprising ways. From there she moves stealthily into more absurd territory, setting up each story with an ordinary premise, making her final moves even funnier in contrast.

As much as she surprises you with these subversions of expectation, the gems that seemed to work the best with the crowd were those concise relatable truths that Callaghan delivered in well-crafted, recognisable packages. This consistently resulted in rises of “I know exactly what you mean” and “funny cos it’s true” laughter from the crowd.

Some references are Melbourne specific, but they land well with the crowd, and shouldn’t raise any concern with interstate visitors. It’s definitely still very easy to enjoy and understand the set ups and punch lines without local knowledge of Melbourne and its districts in advance.

Callaghan’s interactions with the crowd were also a joy to watch throughout the show. Near the end of her set someone’s phone alarm went off, and it was impressive to see how she kept up the momentum of her closing bit after the interruption.

Come for the pun-y title, stay for the highly relatable insights into the human condition, and life in Melbourne. 5 Rosés.

NO WAY ROSÉ is on at Forum Theatre – Ladies’ Lounge.