“What The Frock! has become the UK's most significant nurturer of female talent, and has meant Bristol now gives female comedians a bigger slice of the action” – The Naked Guide To Bristol, 2015
GEMMA PERYER INTERVIEWS ROSIE
I'd already seen her described as self-deprecating, so when Rosie Wilby tells me that her latest show (which is about to go to Edinburgh) is entitled How (Not) To Make It In Brit Pop, I'm not surprised.
Rosie prefers to describe her style as “a bit surreal”, having “a slightly whimsical edge” and says she enjoys a good yarn: “I like gigs where I can go that route, but sometimes you need to do more jokes where people clearly understand where the punchline is... I like longer stories.”
How (Not) To Make It In Brit Pop is one example, being “a storytelling show about that time in my life”. The time in her life being the period she spent in London as a singer-songwriter, fronting the Camden-based indie band Wilby in the 1990s. It was here it all started for Rosie, with music rather than comedy being her first love. “I used to talk in the gap between songs to try and engage the audience and draw them in. I didn't think of it as comedy, just me talking.”
Somewhere along the way, though, Rosie decided to give comedy a whirl. She recalls that starting out around 2004, comedy “suddenly seemed to be the zeitgeist, the new rock and roll... [it was] so accessible, like anyone could have a go. So I thought, why don't I?”
So she took a course, won a few competitions, started gigging more regularly, and eventually Rosie was offered bigger and better gigs – “nicely set up, you know, the microphone works!”
And now, here she is. And now, here we are, in eager anticipation of another What The Frock! gig in Bristol. I wonder what our compere has in store for our audiences? “I just want to get the audience going, make sure everyone has a good time... I'm really looking forward to it, I've never seen the other acts, so I can't wait to see what they do.”
But Rosie's no stranger to Bristol and tells me: “I've always really enjoyed gigs I've done in Bristol, it seems like a good, comedy literate kind of place”. I hope so, I tell her. She laughs.