OutSavvy chats with Rosie Wilby about Femmes by the Thames

Hi Rosie and welcome Femme by the Thames to OutSavvy. Can you give us some background info about your events and what we can expect?

Femmes by the Thames is a comedy cabaret I’ve been hosting and curating for several years to champion female talent. It moved around between Battersea Barge and Royal Vauxhall Tavern for a while and, in 2012, I partnered with Wandsworth Arts Fringe and included the event in their programme. I’ve had some brilliant performers on the bill including Shazia Mirza, Pippa Evans and Zoe Lyons. However it’s not all pure stand-up comedy. We have a bit of musical, sketch and character comedy and often these acts go down the best. This year we have two specially-themed events. One, on the 18th, is at our old haunt Battersea Barge. The other, on the 11th, sees us finding a new home at the beautiful theatre space at The Bedford in Balham. 

Your upcoming event is about Breakup Stories. Why did you choose this theme? 

My recent solo show was called The Conscious Uncoupling and was all about my own breakup story. I got so many people talking to me after the show about their own stories, fellow performers included, that I realised it was a really great subject matter. It’s that old adage: tragedy plus time equals comedy. Once we can look back with hindsight we can perhaps see the funny side or have realisations about why we were so foolish to carry on Facebook-stalking an ex for years. 

Sounds great. We have had a fair few breakup stories between us in OutSavvy HQ (and a fair bit of Facebook stalking). Do you have any exclusive teasers from the event you can tell us about?

Paula Varjack is a brilliant multimedia performance artist and she hinted to me that she was preparing a story about being dumped by a couple that she was in a triad relationship setup with. 

A triad relationship. What does that involve?

Well these new relationship forms are the kind of thing I’ve been investigating for my forthcoming book Is Monogamy Dead? (out August 3, the same day as my Edinburgh show opens). A triad normally means that all three people are consensually romantically involved. Sometimes its sexual, sometimes not. But y’know I don’t know the full details of Paula’s situation until I hear the story on the night… 

Can’t wait to hear more and in the meantime and we will look into these triad relationships in more detail... What other acts feature on the Breakup Stories night?

Comedian Abi Roberts tells me her story is about her first divorce and involves breaking into her own flat with a friend, a diary, a briefcase full of unexpected photographs, a recommended breakup song playlist and the ultimate revenge. I have to say I’m a little intrigued about this one. Author and comedian VG Lee will also be bringing her Agony Aunt postbag and getting the audience to give advice on breakups. 

Do you have any funny breakup stories of your own?

My solo show was all about being dumped by email in January 2011. I went back to read the email on the five-year anniversary of the breakup. And I felt a bit better about it all… once I’d corrected her spelling and punctuation, of course… and changed the font, naturally. 

Thanks for your time Rosie and it sounds like a great night by Femme by the Thames. Get your tickets on OutSavvy at the link below:

A night of Reinvention tickets

Breakup Stories tickets

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