Gigging to eight punters in a room not much bigger than a closet is a comedy festival rite of passage. Sydney-sider Rosie Piper took this in her stride, giving an early Wednesday night timeslot a red hot go in her autobiographically-inspired show Goddess.

Piper is tall, with a baritone voice. Along with a screen for projections, she fills the tiny stage and is nearly in the front row's lap. Her story is big – coming out as transgender and all that involves, with reams of potential for both comedy and drama. Topics are ordinary and existential in equal parts – Piper's love of fast food, an odd situation in the women's toilets of a pub, navigating the social mores around dead names and ruminating on the true cause of a romantic break-up.

Intermittent power point projections "trans-plain" vocabulary and acronyms of trans-culture. A repeated plug for Rosie's Go Fund Me campaign that is raising money for her eventual surgeries gets a few too many airings. Oscillating between stand-up and self-reflexion, Goddess's tone and pace feels still in development, with scope for more nuanced humour and dynamics.

Piper makes the point that she's is not a Goddess, as some overly-compensating people labelled her when she first introduced herself to the world as Rosie. Maybe she's not a goddess, but she's a smart cookie, with many insights to share. Watch this space...

Event details

2022 Melbourne International Comedy Festival
Rosie Piper

Venue: Mantra on Russell | 222 Russell St, Melbourne VIC
Dates: 31 March – 24 April 2022
Tickets: $15 – $25


Most read Melbourne reviews

  • Miss Saigon | Opera Australia
    Entirely sung through, this is a musical with a proper and original score that still feels remarkably fresh and sits in staggering contrast to the slot machine pay outs of a Jukebox musical.
  • A Very Jewish Christmas Carol | Melbourne Theatre Company
    Just like the source material, this is a morality tale, a fantasy to reflect dysfunction, rectify disappointment and repair disillusion but legacy and intergenerational grief are tenacious task masters.
  • The Choir of Man
    This is a really well put together production, a great night out and so incredibly worthy of the success its found in venues around the world.
  • Groundhog Day The Musical
    This is more than just a screen to stage relocation, this a heartfelt re-examination seeking, discovering and transposing essence.
  • Smash It | Circus Oz
    This kooky show is intergenerational mayhem at its finest, with cast members representing millennial, Gen Zs, Baby Boomers and everything in between.

More from this author