Honesty and humour in Ruby Wax’s ‘Frazzled’

The inimitable Ruby Wax will be in Galway next week.
The inimitable Ruby Wax will be in Galway next week.

Comedians walk on mine fields these days, skirting around subjects in fear of offending audiences thanks to the new regime of ‘political correctness’.

Ruby Wax never told jokes during her stand-up routines, she told stories, usually about herself so she didn’t really have to worry about being politically correct, she says now.

Yet, Frazzled! A Guide To Mindfulness, the new show from this American-born, London-based comedian, actor and TV presenter, is all about mental health, probably one of the most sensitive subjects you could choose for a comedic/entertainment routine.

Only of course, it’s not a routine, it’s Ruby Wax’s own story and it’s not for cheap laughs — it’s Ms Wax talking candidly about a health issue that affects everyone, one way or another.

After having a breakdown and a stint in The Priory Clinic, she came across mindfulness and she found a whole new world, one that made her curious. So much so that she went to Oxford, where she did an Masters in Mindfulness and Cognitive Therapy (she had studied psychology in California and has a degree psychotherapy.

And, being a natural performer, what better way to share her experience and new-found knowledge than through a stand-up show?

Having been a fan of hers for years, I saw that first show, Sane New World, in London and was fascinated by her ability to be candid about her own mental health problems while being able see the funny side as well.

“I’ve never really told jokes,” she tells The Connacht Tribune, “but I tell stories.”

So, Ruby the Storyteller kicks off her Irish tour in Galway’s Town Hall Theatre on Wednesday, November 1.

It won’t be her first time in Galway, see says. “I love Galway. I was here many years ago with a show called Wax on Wheels.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.