Rosie Wilby Talks Out In South London and Queer’Say

The hilarious and multi-talented Rosie Wilby talks to us about the continuing need for queer radio, and what inspired her to set up spoken word show Queer’Say.

What inspired you to set up Out In South London?ad65e3_2a6391e420940e8184e709705d41607c

I had worked on a BBC gay radio as a trainee years ago as a student and thought it was a shame there were no queer shows any more. In theory we are meant to be represented more broadly nowadays and not in need of our own niche. But I think we need both as the representation still isn’t quite there. Out in South London was originally a show I developed on a small station in Peckham then I pitched it to Resonance FM.

How much does your own sexuality inform your work and performance?

I like to try and make all my solo shows universal even though coming out and gay identity often form a part of the story. My recent show Nineties Woman was about my time as a student – so identity politics was very much a part of that journey.

How important are outlets like radio and performance poetry as platforms for voices of the LGBT community?

Whenever we had poets on the show, the rhythm and intimacy of it seemed to come across so well on radio. It’s a lovely expressive medium for expressing queerness too.

A&S_QUEER¹SAY_A6-PORTRAIT_AW-1You’re running a series of performance poetry events called Queer’Say, how and why did you start this event?

I was trying to think how we could make use of how well poets seemed to work on the show and do more with that. We had previously had a couple of live broadcasts and recorded events in front of an audience. So I spoke to Russell at Apples and Snakes about a possible live poetry event that we would record for broadcast. A few different names were thrown around before we thought of Queer’Say. A friend of mine suggested Verbal DiaQueer but we decided against that!

What have been your Queer’Say highlights so far ?

The event at Tate Modern was wonderful as, not only were the poets brilliant (Paula Varjack was hilarious), but we were in an amazing space overlooking the river with the evening sun glinting through the windows.

Rosie is a comedian, musician, writer and broadcaster based in London. Follow her on twitter, or keep up to date on her website.

Catch Rosie and her re-vamped show The Science of Sex at the Edinburgh Fringe from the 12th to the 15th August. Find out more about dates, times and prices here.

Get info and tickets for the next Queer’Say on the 12 September here.