Ruby Wax has a message that will get you thinking…or rather being “mindful”… in her Melbourne International Comedy Festival show “Sane New World”…


On Saturday evening I went along to the Melbourne Comedy Festival to get myself Waxed…Ruby Wax-ed!

Wax was in Australia at MICF as part of her Sane New World Tour, which has a few more stops around OZ over the next week or so before heading back to the UK.

I’m not a Ruby Wax follower, although she clearly has a strong fan base given how full the theatre was, particularly when you consider it was a 9pm show on Easter Saturday — a time slot that for some comedians might be tricky to fill given it falls on the Easter weekend and in the middle of the school holidays.

Did I split my sides laughing?

No, but there was a smile on my face more often than not.

Was the gig engaging and interesting?

Yes, particularly towards the end when Wax opened up to the audience to ask her questions.

“Sane New World” has a very specific theme — the brain. Some might have seen Ruby Wax on Q&A last Monday night where she talked about how important the brain is and how we need to increase medical research funding into how it works and how to heal it. (And also enjoyed her “rubbing” of Christopher Pyne, whose hair, she told us during her show, was impenetrable, which might explain why it’s difficult for the Minister for Education to get through his skull that he isn’t going to push his so-called “reforms” through the Senate…but that’s another story.)

Wax even suggested that had the very generous Mr Bill Gates put the money he has donated from his foundation into Malaria towards brain research we may  have found cures to most mental illnesses by now.

And she speaks from a place of knowledge, having suffered severe bouts of depression herself and studied Psychotherapy, gaining her Master’s degree in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy from Oxford University.

My take-out from Sane New World was that Ruby Wax could actually shape the show into less about comedy (there were some laughs but the piece was too overly scripted, so felt stilted at times) and even more about information on the brain. She certainly got me thinking (boom boom) as since seeing “Sane New World”, I’ve actually been practicing some of the basic mindfulness techniques Wax offered up to the audience and have also been talking to others about it.

I’m also determined to learn more about mindfulness and neuroplasticity.

Take a watch of this lecture if I’ve piqued your interest.


So, while Ruby Wax’s day as a mad-capped comedian may be on the wane, the gently comedy she can use to massage her talks about the brain into interesting and informative discussions on the brain is a gift I hope she keeps on giving.

The rest of the Ruby Wax “Sane New World” tour in OZ is as follows – if you can get to one of her gigs, DO IT!

Canberra Theatre, Tues 7 April 2015
Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre, Wed 08 April
Arts Centre Gold Coast Paradise Showroom, Thur 09 April 2015
Seymour Centre – York Theatre, Sydney, Sat 11 April 2015

Share via