Thursday, 13 May 2010

Ruby Wax Losing It Review Assembly Hall Theatre Tunbridge Wells

Ruby Wax
and Judith Owen
Losing It
Assembly Hall Theatre
Tunbridge Wells
13th May 2010

Firstly this tour is being undertaken in aid of a great cause. 50p from every ticket purchased goes towards the Comic Relief charity. With £250 being raised from the sale of every 500 tickets the eventual sum raised from the complete tour should run into many thousands of pounds.

Ruby Wax and Judith Owen, Losing ItMany people have wondered where Ruby Wax has been on TV the last few years. The answer actually lies in the underlying theme of this show. Presented with continuous humour Ruby is talking about her own experience with "losing it", her breakdown, depression and the ignorant attitudes of those that simply don't understand the condition because they have never experienced it. Anybody who has ever suffered from or is suffering from depression could instantly relate to Ruby's 'friend' who thought the only solution was to tell her to "perk up!".

Ruby is accompanied, throughout the show, by the outstanding vocals and piano skills of Judith Owen. Judith has had her own life-long battle with depression. Her songs reflect her experiences and many of the songs from her latest album, The Beautiful Damage Collection, are featured in this show, including one of her most popular tracks "Emily".

As most people found out we see a very different Ruby Wax in this show than we were used to seeing on TV. This is a show which, yes, is very funny and entertaining but it is also full of heartfelt honesty covering all aspects of her personal life. Childhood, school days, showbiz life and an open account of her breakdown, nothing is omitted.

Judith's contribution to the show works extremely well with appropriate songs coming in at each 'chapter' of Ruby's life.

This is also a show where you discover just how much more there is to Ruby Wax than simply a , sometimes controversial, TV comedienne who once interviewed Pamela Anderson! Many may not know that she performed at the Royal Shakespeare Company for 5 years, was a script editor for Absolutely Fabulous and other top shows. She facilitates leadership groups in improving communication skills as well as advising individual executives from top companies around the world. She studied psychology at university and following recent events she has been studying  Psychology and Neuroscience at UCL. To label Ruby Wax simply as a comedienne is somewhat insulting.

With me still suffering from the aftermath of a brain hemorrhage and my wife the long term effects of a stroke and associated neurological problems, we could relate to this tremendous show throughout. As I expect could a large number of audience members around the country who suffer from depression and psychological problems.

As may be expected a few audience members couldn't seem to grasp the concept of the show here and in the interval there were a few comments like "it's very different from her TV shows", or "it's not as funny" and "it's depressing".

Well welcome to reality people - depression isn't exactly a bundle of fun! That is the message that is being delivered here. Ruby and Judith are delivering a serious message about a condition that is treated with ignorance by friends, neighbours,individuals, employers and even some medical practitioners.

And actually the "it's depressing" label isn't really fair here. Ruby's almost non-stop comedy dialogue and Judith's marvellous facial expressions and musical skills have made this an incredibly funny, entertaining show. presented by two people who actually know what they are talking about. It could easily have resulted in a show which leaves the audience depressed but it is not like that at all.

Losing It has received rave reviews around the country by critics - and rightly so. The show is very funny, extremely entertaining, and above all brutally honest. You can't ask for more.

It was so nice to meet two people who haven't got inflated egos either. Both parties taking time to talk to fans after the show. The outstanding Judith Owen performs a one-night show at Ronnie Scotts in Soho on 27th June 2010. Whilst it's a bit remote for us I am more than happy to recommend her show see for details. Judith's official web site is here I thought Ruby looked fresh and fabulous both on stage and off. But Ruby, I am in the real world, I do realise that people who suffer from depression can look great - but feel crap! However, it appeared you both enjoyed your reception at Tunbridge Wells and hopefully this was a great day (edit: Judith - apart from the dressing room?? Saw the tweet!)

A thoroughly recommended show and all in a great cause too!

For tour dates

5 out of 5 for Ruby wax Losing It

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