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Rosie Wilby | View Performers Biography


Venue:The Counting House, 38 West Nicolson Street Edinburgh EH8 9DD
Phone: 0131 667 7533
Links: Click Here for venue details, Click here for map
Ticket Prices: Free  
Room: The Loft
AUG 3-13, 15-27 at 18:30 (60 min)
Show Image

In a brand new comedy and storytelling show, Radio 4 and festival regular Rosie Wilby interweaves a rich, romantic narrative about two people connecting over a shared love of Richard Hawley music and the London skyline with their eventual breakup emails and the visits of three ghosts from our romantic future, past and present.
Although she never thought she’d be inspired by Chris and Gwyneth, is ‘conscious uncoupling’ the way forward? If we could erase our past loves as Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey’s characters attempt to do in the film Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, would we eventually decide against it as they do?
The Conscious Uncoupling premiered at Tristan Bates Theatre First Festival 2016 – a performance which prompted London’s Southbank Centre to book it for their Festival Of Love. The show was shortlisted, via a public vote, for Funny Women Best Show 2016 and is directed by Colin Watkeys (Jack Klaff, Ken Campbell, Claire Dowie).

‘…a beautifully intimate and thought-provoking gem… one of the highlights of this year’s Brighton Fringe’ Remote Goat ★★★★★
‘…tender and exquisite’ Everything Theatre ★★★★
‘…a very honest show that manages to celebrate the happy years of a relationship while being mystified by that process of disentanglement’ The Reviews Hub ★★★★
‘…from hilarious to heart-wrenching’ Female Arts ★★★★

Rosie has appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Loose Ends, Summer Nights, Four Thought, Midweek, The Human Zoo and Woman’s Hour and at festivals including Glastonbury, Secret Garden Party, Green Man, Larmer Tree and Latitude. She was a finalist at Funny Women 2006 and Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year 2007 and she’s been touring award-winning solo shows and steadily building a word-of-mouth army of fans ever since. Her writing has been published in The Sunday Times, The Guardian, The Independent, New Statesman and more. Her first book Is Monogamy Dead will be published by Accent Press in July 2017. She co-hosts Radio Diva on Resonance FM alongside Heather Peace and has presented for BBC Sussex and Surrey. Her award-winning show The Science Of Sex was programmed by New York City’s Fresh Fruit Festival 2013. She has also performed in Los Angeles and at Sydney Mardi Gras.




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News and Reviews for this Show

August 19, 2017  ScotsGay
Rosie Wilby’s comedic background takes a backseat during “Conscious Uncoupling”, instead opting for a deceptively disarming stagecraft. Musing on the coming together and falling apart of a relationship, Wilby uses the narrative refrain of ‘A Christmas Carol’ to provide a gentle and oftentimes heart-aching hour of storytelling

At the outset of the show Wilby dons a white bedsheet with miniature sword and shield, and tells the audience she is the ‘Ghost of Future Love’, come from 2070. In the future, she intones, breakups have become callous and uncaring, with partners using text, email, even telepathy to end relationships. She implores the audience to become her ‘warriors of love,’ to restore empathy to romance.

From this Wilby launches into the story of a recent girlfriend. Having only experienced Wilby as a comedian, it was a delight for me to experience Willby as a storyteller. The staging is simple and effective: when stood Wilby is speaking after the breakup, rereading old emails shared with her partner, and while sat she relives their early romance, from meeting in a backroom comedy club..

At points the pacing of the performance dips dangerously close to lethargy. The seated moments are in particular need of some theatrical aid, as reading from a book severely hampers Wilby’s performance ability. Wilby is clever to intersperse moments of comedy, a flashlight inspired ‘Ghost of Love Past’ being a particular highlight. Unfortunately this is the same technique used to indicate the ‘Ghost of Love Present,’ which was initially confusing for the audience.

This is a refreshingly heartfelt story that does not shy away from the more ambiguous ends of relationships. It is a firm foundation, but at points lacks theatrical flair to become fully engaging. Click Here

August 14, 2017 Fringe Review
Highly Recommended Show
Low Down

Wilby weaves comedy, memoir, love letters and Richard Hawley music to investigate the aftermath of a separation.


This is a beautifully orchestrated show that describes Wilby’s break-up with her partner, Sarah. She asks her audience if there is anyone who hasn’t been dumped and she says “if there is I usually tell them to get out.” She then appears with a mock sword and cape and tell us she is the ghost of our romantic futures “The way you end relationships has become less and less humane,” she says. “This is the day everything went wrong. January 5, 2011.”

In this show, Wilby reads a series of e-mails Sarah sent her and her response. As the audience listens, we realize that Wilby did not see the break up coming and is trying to understand what happened. It is obvious that she feels an e-mail is an impersonal and not very comfortable way to end a relationship. As we hear Sarah’s responses we realize that actually she was afraid to face Wilby and tell her directly that their romance was gone for her.

There is wry comedy in the show. Wilby says, “I should have seen this coming. She got me a nicer present than usual. She got me a flat.” And there are several truly beautiful moments. Wilby says that when they fell in love “For a moment time stopped and opportunity unfolded before us like a magic carpet.”

But she punctures the romantic balloon with ”There is nothing so romantic as someone who isn’t there.”

The show is a pastiche of readings from Wilby’s book and her e-mails, alternating with commentary and music. Through it all, we feel the combination of sadness and injury that everyone feels when a five-year bond is broken unexpectedly. “After almost five years, I feel I should have been consulted.”

But even as Wilby expresses her surprise that their relationship is no more, we can see the breakup coming. Sarah’s parents never accepted Wilby and she says “I realized I couldn’t fit into the construction of her (Sarah’s) life,” and she asks us if romantic fantasy could actually be a psychoses. “I wanted us to be amazing together,” she says. “How could I save this moment….did she even feel it.”

This is a thoughtful show. The pace is rapid and varied and Wilby gives us a polished, confident performance. It poses unsaid questions about the validity of romance in a relationship…is it only in the eyes of the beholder? Do we weave a gossamer web of meaning in a gesture or a remark that doesn’t exist only because we want it to be more real than it is? The Conscious Uncoupling is indeed a fascinating hour that leaves us thinking about our own relationships and what we should expect from them. . Click Here

August 10, 2017  The Wee Review
Rosie Wilby: The Conscious Uncoupling
Returning to the Fringe, Rosie Wilby brings her new show The Conscious Uncoupling – a companion-piece of sorts to newly-published book Is Monogamy Dead? Commissioned by London’s Southbank Centre for Festival of Love, the title of the piece is of course hijacked from Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin’s seemingly amicable separation in 2014. Wilby’s own breakup, however, was somewhat less gentle, and this is what The Conscious Uncoupling allows us to delve into.
Via a series of emails, she lets us retrospectively eavesdrop on the demise of a long-term relationship with ex-partner Sarah. This is accompanied by Wilby’s comical commentary and wry quips. However, the show is more than a simple spoken transcript of emails. The performer cleverly creates context by switching positions (literally) to recite to us from “the past”, delivering touching and beautifully lyrical memories from the beginning and the middle of the romance. It is this dual-narrative that creates emotional impact for the audience, highlighting the root of the heartbreak. In fact, as well as arousing our empathy, Wilby provokes thought on what the nature of breakups is, could and should be.
It is also the comic’s presence and nature that warm us to her. Softly-spoken, she is an engaging performer, pulling us in with her charming narration, confiding in us as if we are the only audience to ever hear the show. Wilby even has to deal with absconding audience members – mistakenly in the wrong venue. While other standups may have found this flustering, Wilby uses the opportunity to reveal another skill as she responds, interrupting herself with hilarious on-the-spot jokes that have the remainder of the audience laughing along delightedly.
The Conscious Uncoupling is another great vehicle for Fringe-returner Wilby and is not only funny, but rather moving too. Click Here

August 7, 2017 Three Weeks
TW:TALKS with Rosie Wilby
With Edinburgh Festival 2017 up and running, we TW:TALK with Rosie Wilby about her new show ‘The Conscious Uncoupling’, which completes a trilogy of shows about relationships. Wilby explains how her music career led to comedy, talks us through her Edinburgh Fringe experiences to date, and tells us all about her new book.

To listen follow the link... Click Here

May 16, 2016  Everything Theatre
Everything Theatre review
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