In the darkly comic show, co-written and performed with singer-songwriter Judith Owen, Wax discusses the “toxins of our time” - envy, fame, television, the insatiable drive to win, getting rich, getting the perfect body, marriage, kids, career and, above all, staying busy while looking like you're having a nice day. According to the press release, “This is why we all, at one point in our lives, feel like we're about to go under or, in Ruby's case, fall off a cliff.”
The show seeks to tackle what Wax calls the "big stigma" around mental illness, which affects one in four of the population at some time in their lives, with Owen’s music providing the emotional soundtrack to Wax's words. The production is directed by Thea Sharrock, with lighting by Tim Mascall and sound by Gareth Owen.
Wax has worked with the BBC for over 25 years, during which time she has fronted documentaries, comedies and interview shows. Having studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, her early acting career included a five-year stint in the RSC from 1978. Her non-stage credits include script editing for the BBC sitcom Absolutely Fabulous, and work as a travel writer and journalist.
Currently at the Duchess, the 40th anniversary revival of Butley, Simon Gray's play about a rapier-tongued lecturer going through a divorce, starring Dominic West, is scheduled to finish its limited season on 27 August 2011.