MIRLIve: Rosie Wilby


 

Elinor Jones rounds up MIRLive with Rosie Wilby

 

Our last event was a varied and exciting evening, held in the basement bar of The Harrison. We were delighted to bring together six authors to read alongside our headliner, writer and comedian Rosie Wilby.

First up to the mike was Nick Trench, who had come from Hampshire to read us his short story, “Neil Purser’s Leg”. The story zoomed in on a man’s obsessive thoughts, as he watches his neighbour digging the garden. It was an original and eccentric piece, which both amused and unsettled in turn.

Next, we were treated to a dystopian satire, “Armageddon” by James Woolf who took us through current affairs as though life were merely a board game and our choices to be made as cynically as necessary to “win”. The clear analogy with the destructive behaviour of twenty-first-century society created wry laughter amongst the audience.

The next two performances were more intimate portrayals of relationships between couples, exposing the disconnection between them in very different ways. In an extract from a collection called “Athenians,” Arhondia created dialogue that was natural and authentic. Her protagonist’s disillusion with the limitations of her Greek lover was amusing and effectively conveyed the futility of the relationship.

In contrast, in Miki Lentin’s piece “The Mess,” a waiter’s frustration with the prosaic, literal mess in a suburban café is juxtaposed with his lover’s attempts to protect a village well from being blown up in Palestine. Through carefully selected descriptive details and sparse dialogue, Miki suggested the gaps in communication, effectively evoking a sense of the barrier created by their different experiences.

After a short break at the bar, Angèle Eliane entertained us all with a candid, autobiographical piece in which she discussed the dating scene. “I Don’t Like Your Pillows” analysed the impact of rental accommodation on the perception one has of a lover one has just met. It was both insightful and entertaining to listen to her thoughts on the matter. You can read “I Don’t Like Your Pillows” now on MIROnline.

Jennifer Obidike read two short pieces, linked by the theme of food. The first, called “Motherland” was also autobiographical, capturing an evocative sense of her mother through the food she was associated with. It was a moving, multi-layered depiction of a complex figure and beautifully read. The second was a fictional piece called “The Roast Suckling” which presented both the young girl and the roast pig as victims. The rich description created a vivid picture of the lavish feast and the unpleasant older suitor. Read “The Roast Suckling” now on MIROnline.

An excellent evening was given a final lift by our wonderful headline act. Predictably, Rosie Wilby was thought-provoking and funny and read two contrasting extracts from her book. One described the absurdities of her tentative attempt at casual sex in a sauna at The Locker Room, and the other was a more serious, poetic description of what it feels like to fall in love. The combination of humour and honesty made for a compelling combination and we rushed to buy her book “Is Monogamy Dead?”

Rosie Wilby is currently presenting “The Breakup Monologue” podcast which invites audiences along for recordings. The next ones are on 10th May, 11th October and 8th November at 7.30pm. Get tickets here.

Our next MIRLive event will be the Arts Week Special with Abi Dare and our own Louise Hare on May 20th.

For more info: http://mironline.org/mirlive-with-louise-hare-and-abi-dare/


Elinor Johns was a teacher for twenty years before giving it up to spend more time out running with her dog. Elinor completed the MACW at Birkbeck in 2017 and is still focussing on the three Rs, reading, writing and running.