Ruby Wax: Sane New World – The Lowry, Salford
Reviewer : Craig Hepworth
After having the mantel of poster child for mental illness thrust upon her, the irrepressible Ruby Wax brings her one woman show Sane New World to The Lowry and owns it having the audience captivated.
A simple set is all you need as Ruby covers everything from Bill Gates and his dandruff to neuroscience and it’s effects on the mind, she takes us through her own struggles with depression and what led her to attaining a Masters Degree in Mindfulness &Cognitive Therapy at Oxford.
The show itself is hard to categorise, at times Ruby shows her comedic prowess while also proving herself as an inspirational speaker and even maybe a medical lecturer. Never becoming bogged down in medical jargon she uses projection as her virtual whiteboard while talking us through the workings of the brain and how to work towards identifying triggers and allowing yourself to begin counteracting any potentially harmful situations.
The first act is Ruby taking us through her experiences and the learnings she has made during her studies and the effects she has seen in her own mental health, she is clearly a very intelligent and articulate woman and you can’t take your eyes off her, this ends with her taking the audience through an exercise which had the whole theatre engaged and wanting more.
Act 2 was an intimate and very honest discussion, with Ruby opening up to audience questions about Mindfulness and mental health as a whole. Potentially a self indulgent process Ruby avoided this by being warm and open with her audience, her honesty was refreshing and inspiring and hopefully will go some way to promoting more discussions around mental health and the stigma that many people still face.
Many audience members opened up about their own experiences with depression showing how well Ruby commands and engages with her audience. If you are looking for stand up Sane New World is definitely not that, instead you experience a wonderful theatre experience with a strong, warm passionate person that you will not soon forget.
Reviewed on 17th May 2015