Rosie Wilby: The Science of Sex

Brighton's Science Festival continues to attract packed-out audiences of all ages and this time round it's the amazingly eccentric Rosie Wilby with her theatrical exploration of the links between science and sex. Exploring concepts such as what makes one gay or straight, what pheromones are and the scientific origin of kissing, Wilby will not fail in attracting you to her effortless charm in Rosie Wilby: The Science of Sex.

Striking the balance between citing personal anecdotes as well as explaining the links between love and sex, it was the perfect excuse for Wilby to flourish in her oh-so-natural role as a comedian.

Throughout, Wilby made accommodations for the various audience members and their (often openly expressed) sexualities; a cheer for bisexuality from a woman in the front row was a particular highlight which Wilby took no time in acting upon. Looking at the change in scientific attitudes towards sexualities over time, Wilby explains theories such as those of Havelock Ellis and sex-perts, William H. Masters and Virginia E. Johnson. In this particular segment, Wilby found great difficulty in understanding Ellis’ failing to realise that his wife was in truth a lesbian. Surely, her request to honeymoon in Lesbos was indication enough? This was just one of the many hilarious instances of word play that were to be in welcome abundance throughout her wholly entertaining performance.

Striking the balance between citing personal anecdotes as well as explaining the links between love and sex, it was the perfect excuse for Wilby to flourish in her oh-so-natural role as a comedian. Though seemingly out-of-the blue at times, Wilby’s many allusions to jokingly killing off those she cared for in the past in this production of hers did nothing to dim the enlightening engagement she had with the audience. In fact, the many instances of dark humour brightened up the otherwise cold, dark February evening.

Ending the performance with an uplifting reveal of her new partner, after an array of amusing verbal abuse of her former one, provided a heartfelt message of what a wonderful thing it is to acquire love in the first place. Her bashful bow off the stage involving hiding behind the easel whilst poking her head meekly round the side was testament to the ‘adorable aunt’ vibe she gave off throughout. Though the diagrams she drew on the easel were at times, she confessed, somewhat limited, what knew no limits was the ease and enjoyment with which the audience felt when watching her show. By rendering a science lesson anything other than boring, one should not underestimate the comedic talent that oozes from Wilby - any of her shows would surely ignite a spark into your day. 

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The Blurb

Radio 4 stalwart returns to her award-winning investigation into the science of attraction – find out what makes us gay or straight, what pheromones are, and what the scientific origins of kissing are. A hilarious investigation into ritual, romance and relationships. - See more at:

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