Ruby Wax- Frazzled

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I’ve always had a soft spot for Ruby Wax.  I think I first saw her on the 80’s sitcom ‘Girls On Top’ but it was her hilarious celebrity interviews on ‘Ruby Wax Meets…’ that really made me a fan.  With her confrontational style and acerbic humour, that often went way over her subject’s head, she was almost like the anti-Louis Theroux.  She even conducted a surreal and uncomfortable interview with Donald Trump back in 2000 where she was thrown off his private jet for laughing at his plans to run for President.  Who’s laughing now?

Tonight, her one-woman show is all about her journey into the world of mindfulness (a phrase that she personally finds a little too vegetarian) and cognitive therapy.  I’ve been interested in meditation and mindfulness for quite a while but sometimes it can feel a little bit new age.  Well, Ruby Wax is the perfect antidote to that.  If anything she’s way more of a cynic than I am. “Mindfulness isn’t about saying hello to your dishes before you wash them, or chanting a mantra”, she says.  So if she can make it work for her there is hope for the rest of us.  Plus, it’s really reassuring to find that she’s still as funny as ever.  She’s not like one of those people that discovered religion or alcoholics anonymous but along the way lose their sense of humour.

Ruby talks about how our modern life and reliance on computers and devices Ruby Wax Frazzled-  Signingcan make it difficult to live in the moment.  This is something that I struggle with personally and my biggest takeaway from this evening is when she tells us “the most flattering thing you can ever give someone is your attention”.   The first half of the show ends with a short mindfulness exercise.  There is something slightly surreal about someone you have known most of your life from TV guiding you in relaxation.  It’s almost like if you went to the theatre and then suddenly you were getting hypnotised by Stephen Fry.

After the interval, during which Ruby signed copies of her books in the foyer, there was a question and answer session.  When asked if she thought that mindfulness was just a fad she spoke strongly in its defence: “Oxford don’t give out masters degrees in witchcraft, the science on this is pretty overwhelming”.  The show ends, somewhat implausibly, with a sort-of Hawaiian interpretive dance to Cyndi Lauper's ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’.  This wasn’t quite what I was expecting but it's still a great conclusion to an illuminating and entertaining evening.  


Wax Facts

  • Ruby started her career in Glasgow studying at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music.
  • Renowned thespian Alan Rickman was a frequent writing partner and directed most of her comedy shows.
  • She started out as a theatre actress and was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
  • Ruby gained a master’s degree in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and campaigns on mental health issues.  In 2015 she was awarded an OBE for her services to mental health.


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