Features

The Breakup Monologues Podcast

The Breakup Monologues podcast launches a new season on 4th October with an episode recorded live at Port Eliot festival. 2006 Funny Women Awards Finalist Rosie Wilby is joined by 2019 Funny Women Awards host, author and comedian Katy Brand and journalist and broadcaster Miranda Sawyer.

Mariana Feijó: A lot of your work focusses on the science and psychology of love and relationships – what makes this such a fascinating subject for you?

Rosie Wilby: The Breakup Monologues podcast follows my trilogy of solo shows all about how love works (and sometimes doesn’t) and my book Is Monogamy Dead? I think that growing up as a gay woman made me fascinated in how to access a happy romantic life. Many of the stories we see about lesbians in films and TV are rather tragic ones, where characters end up alone or die. Through all the reading, research, thinking, writing and interviews I’ve done over the last decade, I think there’s been a sense of searching for a script to follow. Of course, anyone who read my book and follows the podcast will know that I did finally find a really great partner. So, even though good relationships take constant care and attention, I found a happy ending… for now at least. I don’t take anything for granted.

After talking to lots of other people, from friends to academics and relationship therapists, I realise that human relationships are complex whoever you are, whatever your gender and sexual orientation. I try to strike a balance between acknowledging the universality of heartache and the fact that there are voices that are less represented in love stories and psychology and self help books.

MF: You’ve explored a number of formats in your work, from live comedy performance to books, among many others. What brought you to the podcast format?

RW: The final part of my trilogy was a comedy storytelling show called The Conscious Uncoupling, which was shortlisted for the Funny Women Awards Best Show category three years ago and was programmed by the Southbank for their Festival of Love. While I was touring that show, performer and writer friends would chat to me afterwards about their own breakup stories. And I thought that it would be great to have some kind of chat show where we could share our war stories. Also I love interviewing people, which I’ve done for many years on radio shows on Resonance FM and occasionally on the BBC.

MF: Experts say podcasting as an industry is in its very early stages – do you think it’s a growing industry? How do you feel about being there from the start?

RW: I wish I had got involved sooner. The Breakup Monologues is a newbie podcast, relatively speaking. I’m inspired by people like Deborah Frances-White, who really did see the potential of the format early on.

MF: Podcasts are perceived to be a very white, male endeavour. Do you feel like that in anyway hindered your work or are podcasting platforms looking for different voices?

RW: It feels like tons of exciting diverse voices and stories are coming through now. There may well be some way to go in terms of who is getting sponsorship, finance and profile for their output. But it certainly doesn’t seem like the content actually created is all by white, straight men.

MF: You have a couple of live recordings coming up soon. How does the live podcasting experience compare to the studio recorded podcast one?

RW: The first series of The Breakup Monologues was recorded in the studio because I had a bit of funding to cover costs. Those episodes had a lovely warmth and intimacy. However I now do them all live in front of an audience – partly so that I can cover costs for hosting and editing with ticket sales and partly because it really adds an exciting ‘anything can happen’ vibe. Kings Place is a great venue to come and record at. It’s such a London podcasting hub. I’m looking forward to our two shows there this Autumn. There’s also a live show coming up in Oxford. Then an anti-Valentines edition in February next year at Poplar Union.

MF: Who would be a dream guest for your podcast?

RW: Kate Winslet! I have a big crush on her. But, aside from swooning a bit, I’d like to ask her about her role in my favourite film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I’m really interested in the premise that we might want to erase our painful memories of an ex. There’s actually a real equivalent – anti-love drugs which could target specific traumatic memories have been discussed in the scientific community recently.

The Breakup Monologues is available now on all good podcast platforms. The next London live recordings are at Kings Place on 11th October and 8th November. Find out more here.