Comedy

Ruby Wax Show Poster

Ruby Wax, I’m Not As Well As I Thought I Was Review

Talking virtually non-stop for over an hour and a half with five props and three audio clips is difficult. Ruby Wax makes it seem effortless despite her serious subject matter, her mental health.

I’m Not As Well As I Thought I Was

The show entitled ‘I’m Not As Well As I Thought I Was’ came to my hometown of Birmingham on the 23rd of September 2023 at the Alexandra Theatre.

An office chair, a desk and a stool were lit up on stage under harsh white light. Ruby vaulted on stage wearing Pajamas, saying she had “dressed up for Birmingham,” rude, probably true for some areas. This was the first laugh of what turned out to be an entertaining, if thought-provoking, night.

Ruby Wax Stage

A sound like a drill cutting through pavement was repeatedly played throughout the show. The audience soon learned that this was the sound of Ruby’s treatment while she was in a psychiatric unit. She was there for six weeks. It is this stay in a mental institution that her show revolves around. Weaved into the story were anecdotes of what she was doing before she was admitted and what led up to it. She said the transcranial magnetic stimulation treatment “feels like Woody Woodpecker and his cartoon pals are gang-banging in my head”. It’s a funny analogy until your brain catches up with you and thinks about how horrific that must be!

Depression

Ruby describes her depression, “Your thoughts attack like little demons biting chunks of your brain. It’s hard to stay alive and listen.” As a person with anxiety, I think this is a very apt description. Thankfully, I haven’t experienced mental illness to the degree that Ruby has, but I can relate in my own small way. I enjoy how she uses humour to educate and entertain people; this show did not disappoint.

Not only did she describe her illness, but she also talked about her stay at a monastery, where talking wasn’t allowed. A gong was used to signal the start and end of activities, and the show used the sound of a gong very effectively in the storytelling. I love the way she describes people.

Whether you can identify with her or remember her from TV, there is something for everyone in this witty retelling of a difficult time in Ruby’s life. For those wondering, the other two props were her MacBook and iPhone, together with the final audio, a text alert sound. At least she had good phone service in her locked room.

Photo with Ruby Wax
Why am I the only one who looks windswept? We were outside as the part of the theatre where book signings and photos were taking place wasn’t wheelchair accessible.

You can find the rest of her tour dates here. I would love to know what you think of it.

Ruby Wax, I’m Not As Well As I Thought I Was Review Read More »

Rosie Jones Triple Threat Review

On the 15th of September, 2023, I attended Rosie Jones’s first UK comedy tour at the Redditch Palace Theatre, which is, funnily enough, located in Redditch. Calling herself a “Triple Threat”, which is also the show’s title, Rosie explains the reason for this description is that she is “A lesbian, disabled and a prick.” This line is delivered with comedy, as is to be expected, but also with a self-satisfied grin that says she knows she has already shocked some people in the audience.

Rosie-Jones-laughing

Ableist slurs!

Throughout the show, she uses ableist slurs to significant comedic effect. This surprised me as I thought it would annoy me rather than amuse me because I disagreed with her use of the now-famous R-word in her latest Channel 4 documentary.

Rosie-Jones-looking-thoughtful

Unlike that instance, which I’m convinced was used to gain attention and generate intelligent and not-so-intelligent debate, these words were funny, thought-provoking and a not-so-subtle metaphorical finger to anyone who has flung these words at her in public. She’s proud of being gay, she makes a living from being disabled, and she’s so proud of being a prick she’s had it printed on her merchandise!

Rosie on the property ladder

Alongside those points, she talked the audience through her first flat purchase, explaining that she’d finally found a use for her dad. The experience also taught her that the age of a boiler is essential to know when you’re a successful comedian taking your first steps on the property ladder. Rosie also talked at great length about her struggles to become a national treasure, her hatred of Putin and how we would all, at some point, not understand a word of what she was saying.

This was the only point where you could see sadness from the otherwise joyful Rosie. As a disabled person and a person with Cerebral Palsy, I related to what she was saying and could identify with her moment of pain. Some people will only see difference, no matter what is achieved in life.

Rosie-Jones-and-I


Lived Experience

Many people identify with Rosie’s comedy, and while you don’t have to be gay or disabled to appreciate her comedy, I wonder whether the non-disabled person without a connection to either group would be entertained. Shared lived experience is what got the biggest laughs out of me. I’m sure, given time, Rosie will achieve the ‘national treasure’ status she’s openly aiming for.

Your thoughts?

Have you seen Rosie’s new show? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Rosie Jones Triple Threat Review Read More »

error

Enjoy this blog? Please subscribe and share :)