From Performing at the fringe in Edinburgh, to the compering and curating of Femmes On The Thames in London, Rosie Wilby has been doing stand up all over the country since getting to the finals of Funny Women in 2006. The girls and I have seen her at numerous venues, our favourite being her The Science of Sex show where she had us in stitches with her lab coat and glasses pointing to her board to tell us what she thought on the subject. In our usual quick snappy interview way we found out a bit more about the lovely lady herself.
So tell us about your new Edinburgh Show, How Not to Make It In Britpop?
I used to do music, and it’s about some of the characters I’ve met along the way – the ones who auditioned for the band and promoted the gigs we played at, ran the rehearsal rooms we hung out at and so on. Times have changed so much – the popular culture… and the technology! I remember my girlfriend giving me a mobile phone and it was huge. The politics in the country were changing too. We were feeling an optimism of change after ‘New Labour’ got in. At the time I was writing a diary as a magazine column in Making Music. It’s made me laugh reading bits of it again. I wanted to do a show on how I’ve changed, and how memories don’t stay fixed – like when you tell a story it changes every time you tell it.
You left music to pursue comedy, what made you do that?
Well I think it seemed like a natural progression. When the band started going off in their own ways, doing their own thing, I had no desire to be a solo artist. It’s a lonely experience. Between the songs I used to make people laugh, so when I had the chance to try out comedy I gave it a go .. and then got to the final of Funny Women. But now it’s come full circle because I’ve now brought the music back into the show.
You’ve been described as funny, and a bit posh by Time out magazine which was my favourite description of you, do you agree with it?
Yeah! I do play up to a slightly posh persona. I was actually born in Liverpool and grew up in Lancashire. But then going to York University with all the Oxbridge rejects kind of beat my Northern accent out of me. People do realize though when they talk to me that there’s a Northern twang buried under the posh persona. Sometimes though, when people can’t place my accent they say it’s Australian! Even though I stayed there for a month doing gigs at Mardi Gras in 2009 I didn’t think it had rubbed off that much.
Apart from Stand up what else do you do?
Freelance writing, radio presenting and PR.
Who are your favourite comedians?
Eddie Izzard is the main one I’ve grown up loving. Diva editor Jane Czyzselska actually said I was a lesbian version of him which was very flattering.
What’s the coolest thing about you?
I always wanted to perform at Glastonbury but then when I was there thinking ‘I’m really cool,’ it was just mud and rain everywhere and I was crying tears of mud. So maybe not so cool. One girl bravely wore white and was unable to move from the spot as her outfit would’ve been ruined. I just kept seeing her standing in the same place all weekend.
I have a degree in electronic engineering.
I was not expecting that.
No it’s quite geeky. I was good at physics and science at school and they pushed girls who were good at it down that route. I failed the first year but then pulled it out of the bag at the last minute in my final exams.
What’s next for 2012/2013?
The new show! Hopefully touring. At the moment I’m writing a book based on the Britpop show so I’m hoping to get that out next year and do more writing in future too
Go on rosiewilby.com to find out about gigs, her music or just more information.
Follow at @RosieWilby
Rosie presents and produces Resonance 104.4FMs LGBT show Out In South London every Tuesday at 6.30pm.