The Breakup Monologues: friendship

On Demand (IF 2023)

1 hourPWYD

Discussion, Performance | Comedy, Identity, Society, The Mind

The Breakup Monologues: friendship

In a live episode recorded at The Bullingdon as part of IF Oxford, comedian Rosie Wilby chats to anthropologist and evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar and author Max Dickins about friendship – why we need friends, how many friends we can have, friendship breakups, the ambiguous language of friendship, the When Harry Met Sally (or when Sally met Sally) question, Jane Austen’s observations on relationships, whether a close romantic friendship could ever count as ‘cheating’, the differences between (straight) male and female friendships and the experience of people with identities beyond those binaries.

Recorded at The Bullingdon as part of IF Oxford on 17 October 2023.

Suitable for teenagers and adults.

Click links below to listen to the podcast (also available with other podcast providers).


Read related feature

Rosie Wilby is an award-winning comedian who has appeared on BBC Radio 4 programmes including Woman’s Hour and Four Thought. Her first book Is Monogamy Dead? followed a trilogy of shows investigating the psychology of love. Her latest book The Breakup Monologues follows her acclaimed podcast of the same name.

 Robin Dunbar is Emeritus Professor of Evolutionary Psychology at the University of Oxford. His research is concerned with understanding the mechanisms that underpin social bonding in primates (in general) and humans (in particular). His book Friends looks at friendship in the round, at the way different types of friendship and family relationships intersect and the mechanisms that underpin friendships and make them possible.

Max Dickins’ writing has been featured in the Observer, Sunday Times, Daily Mail, and GQ. His book, Billy No Mates has been translated into multiple languages and is currently being adapted for television.


IF Oxford uses Pay What You Decide (PWYD) ticketing so you can choose to pay whatever you want or can afford. You can make your donation during booking or after the event and the amount you pay is up to you. A suggested donation of £5 per person for each event enjoyed will help secure the future of the Festival. IF Oxford is run by The Oxfordshire Science Festival (charity #1151361) and your donation may be eligible for Gift Aid, where a charity can claim back an extra 25% of your donation at no cost to you.

Donate and download Gift Aid declaration form

The Festival reserves the right to modify event formats and manage the audience in accordance with the Festival’s Attendance Policy: