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Edinburgh Fringe 2013

Rosie Wilby: Is Monogamy Dead?

Rosie wilby

Genre: Stand-Up

Venue: Assembly Hall


Low Down

Rosie Wilby returns to the Fringe with a ‘sort of’ follow on from The Science of Sex in 2009/2010 but on a more subtle and personal philosophical quest, exploring the boundries of monogamy.


The intimate space and Wilby’s warm presence made it feel like a cosy chat with a favourite friend….do I need to mention the bit about her being a lesbian? Not really…gay…straight…polyamourous….asexual…single….married….all are welcome chez Rosie’s.

She raises important questions about what relationships are and mean to us and laughingly berates the mainstream, which has ‘regretfully’ accepted gay marriages, forcing her into coming face to face with boring concepts like ‘settling down’, being respectable and even….horror…dusting! Not quite the future she envisaged when living the dream of the lesbian counter culture.

But this ‘gay bubble’ has for her recently popped, seeing friends all around her breaking up led to questioning what is love and how does conventional monogamy work in today’s more individualist society.

Polyamory has been a rising topic of interest and more openly talked about in recent years…Wilby talks about the side of this that isn’t about cold unemotional sexual conquests…but actually a recognition of the human ability to love more than one person in different ways…she points out that surely if we have friends we share intimate thoughts with…then we are already polyamorous as we recognise that our partner…one person cannot fulful our ever y need. But she also points out it’s important to choose what’s right for the individual…which of course includes monogamy – but only if that is a choice made of joyful freedom, not from an oppressive societal ‘rule’.

Wilby is a relaxed and laid back performer creating on stage feel good interactive comedy, gently prompting the audience to rethink their values and attitudes. Overall the show made me giggle at places and leave smiling and thoughtful.  Despite a small, sometimes shy audience, Wilby held the stage with understated calm confidence – we didn’t feel we had to laugh hysterically for it to be good, she didn’t demand that of us…if she didn’t get much of a laugh she didn’t look wounded or betrayed she just nodded, winked and moved on.

The audience loved it and the only man in the audience said to me “That was really fun”, and I heard someone else say as we were leaving “That really cheered me up”.


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