Monday, 28 September 2015

Ruby Wax: Sane New World Review


Sane New World
Ruby Wax
Durham Gala Theatre
Saturday 12th September 2015


Having thoroughly enjoyed Ruby Wax’s book Sane New World, to say I was looking forward to her show of the same name would be an understatement. What I saw, however, was a witty and intellectual show that was laced with cheap mental illness jokes that made me want to scream.

Wax graduated from Oxford University with a masters degree in cognitive based mindfulness and there is no doubt that she is a very intelligent women. She explained the role of hormones in the development of mental illness with ease, but it was her knowledge and experience with mindfulness that exceeded it. Mindfulness opens up the opportunity to stop your internal monologue running your life – it gives you a time out. However, Wax explained that “you don’t get a six-pack with one sit-up”. It is the daily practice of mindfulness that brings mental peace. She conducted a mindfulness exercise with the entire theatre and, from what I overheard at the interval, the audience were sold on the concept.

The comedian proposed that we are all in a plague of business and that there is too much of an expectation to always be busy. Even if busy just means managing to go to multiple exercise classes and coffee dates in a day, we must be busy. “What is the point in being able to kiss your own ass in each direction?” Maybe the point is to prove we can achieve more and more as we strive to be better.

By the time we reached the interval, I was over the “psychotic people want to kill you” and “bipolar people laugh then cry” jokes. Then we were back again, and a member of the audience asked what the difference is between bipolar and depression. This was the perfect opportunity for Wax to raise some awareness but, instead, I found myself being informed that if one of my relatives were to try and set fire to my house I would know they have bipolar. No, I would know that they were an arsonist.


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