Ruby Wax – Sane New World (tour – Salford)

Ruby Wax follows up ”Losing It” with this new piece, to tie in with her book. Kristy Stott admires the themes of the show at the Lowry.

Sane New World is Ruby Wax's one woman show based on her critically acclaimed and number one bestselling book of the same name.

Ruby Wax
Ruby Wax

Wax has her own experience of clinical depression to use as an anchor and base for her work – in her own words she is the self professed 'poster girl for mental illness'. After the audiences reaction to her stand up show, Losing It in 2011, she founded her own mental health website and went on to graduate from Oxford with a master's degree in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy.

This new show from Ruby Wax aims to get people talking from the outset; as a forthright Wax walks on to the stage to pour herself a cup of tea and announce that she isn't ready to start yet, she encourages the audience to "mingle, meet someone next to you, you thought you'd never meet."

However, the main body of the show feels a bit like stand-up and a science lesson all mixed into one and occasionally I felt my train of thought wandering away from the subject that Wax was trying to tackle on stage.

Admirably, Sane New World tackles the subject of mental illness in an honest and upfront fashion from the very beginning – the intimacy is most evident during Q&A session in the second half of the show, with many people raising their hands for a chance to interact with Wax.

This is perhaps the most insightful and enjoyable part of the show, the audience joining together each lending their ears to hear a recovered alcoholic's story and the perspective of somebody who suffers with panic attacks and anxiety.

Ruby Wax is extremely likeable on stage, she is eccentric, funny and warmhearted and such a frank and honest discussion around mental illness is refreshing and much needed. However, the show seems to jump around a lot and I found it difficult to follow her thought pattern at times.

Nevertheless, any show that allows people to express their understanding and experiences of mental health has to be a good thing and publicising and bringing recognition to this important issue is to be applauded.