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Published April 19, 2019

Rose Callaghan isn’t sure about this era of self-help guidance. She’s pretty convinced that the people who offer that guidance are completely unable to help themselves, which might be why she’s comfortable sharing her own 12 Rules for Life. They differ quite significantly from the 12 rules offered by a certain well-known, highly controversial Canadian psychologist, who Rose doesn’t seem to really like. But go and find out why for yourself.

Although the show is highly political, touching on feminism, identity politics and global warming, Rose is light-hearted and upbeat, allowing the audience to laugh instead of cry at the state of the world. Perhaps most impressively, she somehow manages to link these discussions with anecdotes related to the horrors of growing out bad haircuts, and the indignation you feel when your mother makes you remove your forgotten childhood belongings from the family home.

Rose is charming and self-assured, completely at ease interacting with the audience. She took great pleasure in questioning audience knowledge on different subjects. If you don’t already know what a moon cup is, Rose will explain it to you. She’ll explain it very visually too. Completely unfazed when discussing unflattering bodily functions and bizarre intimate interactions, it was refreshing to see a woman unapologetically talk about these things in such a hilarious, often crude, manner.

Rose’s ability to lift the crowd’s energy was impressive, leaving little doubt that we were in good hands. Throughout her act, there was audience meowing and woofing, a costume change, and a moment when everyone was calling out positive affirmations. There was also music and strobe lighting. When I walked out of the venue, my face hurt from laughing.

This is the only self-help guidance you need this comedy festival.


12 Rules for Life is on at 7:15pm at Mantra on Russell until 21 April as part of the 2019 Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Tickets are available at the venue or via the MICF website.

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