Sunday, 8 March 2015

Review: Ruby Wax - Sane New World at the St James Theatre



Ruby Wax: Sane New World
St James Theatre
Reviewed on Wednesday 4th March 2015
★★★★

Ruby Wax is back once again with another one-woman show entitled Sane New World, currently playing at the St James Theatre before embarking on a tour in Australia and the UK.

Following her graduation from Oxford University with a Masters in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy last year, Wax’s new show combines comedy and a lecture with ease. The information, which some may find overwhelming in large chunks, is broken down into easy to understand bite-size pieces, with Wax herself using her own experiences as evidence to help the audience to understand her mental state.

She’s right when she says we have to keep ourselves busy constantly and the higher up the hierarchy you climb, the busier we get until it all becomes a bit too much. She gives the example of worrying about an earthquake somewhere half way around the world - we’re powerless to do anything about it and yet we spend our whole lives constantly worrying and getting stressed about things that are outside of our control.

Wax never sits still for long throughout the performance and her energy is infectious - the audience sits up straight and listens to what she has to say. All the way through the show audience members nodded their heads as they connected with what Wax was discussing. Following an interval the second half is an informal chat with the audience, which some people, who perhaps didn’t engage with the first half, may prefer. It is here that Wax’s infamous razor-sharp humour is really brought to life. 

Wax doesn’t proclaim herself to be an expert and emphasises that while mindfulness has helped her, it may not be for everyone as we’re all wired differently. I found the talk inspiring – rather than sit back and simply take medication for her depression, Wax found herself wanting to learn and understand about the mind and why she was affected in order to literally change the way she thinks. It never comes across as preachy and Wax does a fantastic job of keeping people interested throughout, even though they may not understand the science behind it all. 

Reviewed by Laura Kate Jones

Sane New World runs at the St James Theatre until Saturday 14th March 2015.
Please visit www.stjamestheatre.co.uk for further info and tickets.

Photo Credit 1: Tristram Kenton

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