Well I certainly didn’t read the small print when I bought tickets for Ruby Wax’s new show Sane New World. Actually to be fair to Ruby it wasn’t exactly small print – it seems that on further investigation this new show was very much hailed as a therapy show for those with mental health issues. Anyway I just booked the tickets cos when I was growing up I enjoyed Ms Wax’s humour and thought it would be interesting to see her live. However she has retrained and re-educated herself in the art of mindfulness – and the audience was, it turned out, full of people in need of counselling.
The first half was almost old-school standup but very much focused on mental health issues. Yes I did enjoy it and I did laugh – but if wonder if I didn’t have a fondness and familiarity with Ruby if I’d have found it quite so entertaining.
During the interval we legged it to a former gin palace and drank – yes you’ve guessed it – gin. Upon our return the entire audience was in therapy. Ruby was asking for mental health related questions for the duration and it seemed that we were (at the risk of sounding too un-PC) surrounded by people with some serious issues.
There were so many people wanting to ask questions – and the content of the questions was heavy to say the least…
“When I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder…” Started the first question.
“After my second bout of CBT…” The second.
And so forth…
We felt slightly uncomfortable if only for the reason that one wondered how qualified to help these people Ruby actual is… Anyway – tho we had no questions to ask – the second half was interesting and informative – although there wasn’t much laughing to be had apart from when Ruby advised one poor women with terrible off and on depression issues to repay her husband with lots of sex to repay him for his patience during her off-depression phases (it was the way she said it that made it funny – my paraphrasing isn’t highlighting the humour).
So I was expecting to see an 80s comedy icon – and in reality experienced a therapy session that I don’t think i really needed. That’ll teach me to read the small print in future…