Venue: Theatre Tent
Reviewer: Glen Pearce
Fresh from gaining her Masters Degree in Mindfulness andCognitive Therapy at Oxford University, Ruby Wax is on something of a mission. She explains that she became the poster image for mental illness by chance but her latest tour, Sane New World, has something of an evangelical feel.
It’s always a challenge to hold the attention of an often transient festival audience, but it’s testament to Wax’s appeal that not only does she attract one of the largest queues of the weekend for the theatre tent but holds the capacity audience’s attention throughout.
Given that Sane New World is part monologue, part science lecture and part group therapy and not the traditional stand up that many may have expected, it’s testament to Wax’s skill as both orator and performer that this diverse audience remain hooked.
Wax is brutally honest about her own mental health but, more importantly, helps those in the audience understand how their own brains work and how they can free themselves from the preconceptions they feel they are bound by. It could all so easily turn into a dry, science-heavy lecture but Wax’s skills as a performer knows just what buttons to press.
The brief post show discussion encourages Wax to work with the Government and introduce mindfulness training into schools. It’s a great idea and one for which Wax’s open style would be perfectly suited.
She may not have much time for some of the more bizarre happenings in Latitude’s Forest Stages – and would certainly not join in the daily Latitude Yoga class – but she’s certainly sent several hundred people out into the Suffolk sunshine with a clearer view on their own neural wiring.
Read The Public Reviews’pre-Latitude interview with Ruby Wax here.