The British Comedy Guide chats to Rosie Wilby, who performs a show called 'The Further Science Of Sex'...
Hi Rosie. Following an Edinburgh run, you're now bringing your show to the Manchester Comedy Festival. What can the audience expect?
It's a spoofy lecture all about love, attraction, the dynamics of relationships and sexuality. I learned a lot whilst researching for both versions of the show, The Science Of Sex and the sequel The Further Science Of Sex (for more advanced students).
So is it a rude show?
Aside from the odd saucy joke to keep the audience on their toes, it's mostly a charming and sweet show. My persona is a bit of a prim lecturer in her lab coat and safely goggles.
What caused you to choose the subject of 'sex' for the show then?
I've always been fascinated by sexuality and why we're attracted to the people we're attracted to. I think my own identity as a lesbian and the fact that I found it hard to come out shapes some of this interest.
That does sound interesting. During your show, you talk about what makes people straight or gay. The answer isn't yet known is it?
Not really. However some experiments being done at Queen Mary University London point to sexuality being determined by hormonal exposure in the womb. Gay men and straight women perform similarly in certain tasks relating to shapes, navigation, words and memory. So their brains are similar - particularly in the areas associated with these tasks. These areas are formed during early pregnancy. Meanwhile, lesbians seem to sometimes align with straight men and sometimes with straight women.
Do you have a scientific background then?
Of sorts, yes. I was a star pupil at Physics and Maths at school and used to get sent on 'Women in Physics' courses by the school. I went on to do an Electronic Engineering degree at York University... which I hated.
So how much of the show is based on real scientific facts, and how much of it is made up?
I have read some fascinating books on the topic and participated in some real experiments. While this background does inform the show, I saw my main priority as that of being entertaining. So it is primarily a comedy show. However, some people say they have learned things and some have been really moved. One woman has seen the show about 4 times. Maybe she's my new stalker. But she seems quite normal...
You mention experiments. There's a bit about aphrodisiacs in your show...
Ha ha, yeah, I ate a lot of chocolate and force fed my partner with it too!
Ha ha. Do you have a top tip for dating? It is possible to get someone to fall in love with you?
I wish! Of course, confidence always helps. But that is a hard thing to fake. The irony is that many of us are at our most attractive when we're in the throes of a new relationship. We're having lots of sex and giving off lots of pheromones. Suddenly everyone wants us and we're not available!
Bit of a Catch-22 situation then! Damn. Are you thinking of doing another show next year? If so, what do you think you might talk about? Sex again?
I'm developing a new show - Rosie's Pop Diary - which I premiered in very rough form at the Camden Fringe just before Edinburgh. A complete change of direction, it weaves my old songs into a storytelling show detailing my experiences trying to make it in the music business in the 1990s before I switched to stand-up.
Sounds good. Well, in the meantime best of luck with the Manchester gig Rosie and thanks for sharing some of those interesting facts.
Rosie Wilby's Further Science Of Sex is at The Comedy Store as part of the Manchester Comedy Festival on Friday 29th October 2010. More Details