Rosie Wilby: Is Monogamy Dead ?


As a general rule this year has seen me avoiding stand up comedy on the Fringe as usually I don’t think it is really very funny. However I thought that I should put my toe in the water-admittedly I am going to see Bo Burnham this week but he is in a class of his own- and Rosie Wilby’s show seemed like an interesting proposition as she touches on monogamy and gay marriage as opposed to masturbation and drinking whilst wearing a plaid shirt and faded jeans. Actually her  apparel really didn’t divert too radically from this preconception I have of stand up comics but this is probably because she is a short lesbian- a fact she felt duty bound to inform us of in the first two minutes- and her act did contain several references to masturbation.

 On the gay marriage topic she made several valid points that all it really has done is create a whole new set of problems for gays who now feel as pressured to conform to an outmoded stereotype as heterosexuals and the fact that perhaps marriage as an idea made more sense when people died at a younger age but now we are living significantly longer the concept reveals itself to scrutiny and monogamy is much harder as the initial attraction inevitably wears off. This actually makes up the premise of the show and the subject it all hinges on.

She then goes on to say that the reason so many lesbians look miserable is that being one is actually no fun. For them there is no Grindr or being invited to a party as the interesting fun person. Although this is delivered in her humorous fashion- Wilby’s delivery is chatty and intimate occasionally lapsing into a verbal stream of consciousness- you get the feeling that she does actually feel this way. Gay icons and fantasy figures are thin on the ground for lesbians she reveals.

When Wilby sticks to this train of thought her act has some substance it is when she lapses into corny Xmas cracker territory that it doesn’t really hold sway so much. It could be nerves or it could be the fact the room was barely half full but this kind of humour only really works when you have the audience behind you and you have already taken them to several peaks.

 That is perhaps the main flaw in this show in that it doesn’t reach the high peaks you sense it could with a little more tweaking. Wilby does have a likeable persona and the sense that she can actually do better than this is prevalent throughout.


Rosie Wilby: Is Monogamy Dead? is on at 5.15pm at Assembly on the Mound until August 26th

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