If I had any doubts about the genius of Ruby Wax, they were blown out of the main doors of a packed Jersey Opera House last night as Ruby, together with a monk and a neuroscientist enlightened us on how to be human.
I can’t remember when I first tuned in to Ruby Wax but I think it must have been around 1985 when the ITV sitcom Girls on Top was first aired. With its dream cast… Ruby, of course, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, and Tracey Ullman, but I had no idea until today, that Ruby co-wrote it with French and Saunders.
In 1991, she went to work for the BBC with the launch of The Full Wax (1991–94) (excellent), which led to Ruby Wax Meets Madonna (brilliant) and quickly followed by Ruby Wax Meets… (1996–98) (bloody brilliant). Ruby made several guest appearances in French and Saunders iconic masterpiece, Absolutely Fabulous, whilst acting as script editor for the entire Ab Fab series.
If someone had told me Ruby Wax was going on tour with a monk and a neuroscientist, I don’t think I would have believed them, but what an incredible team they make.
‘A three-way encounter between a Monk, a neuroscientist, and Ruby Wax sounds like the set up for a joke. Instead, it’s produced one of the most fascinating, intriguing and informative books about minds and bodies and brains and mindfulness I’ve ever encountered. A triangulation on what it means to be human. Utterly readable and surprisingly wise.’
Ruby gets the whole of the first half of the show to herself, telling the audience how to be human in her own inimitable way. In the second half, she is joined on stage by the monk, Gelong Thubten, and the neuroscientist, Ash Ranpura and they gel together so well. The repartee between them flows and their words inspiring and fascinating. I woke up this morning wishing I could listen to them all over again today.
‘After living and breathing what seems like an eternity with the monk and a neuroscientist, it feels like we’re an old married threesome. We harangue, nag and bitch but our relationship continues because we can make each other hysterical.’
The Monk – Gelong Thubten
I was enlighted by Thubten’s words of wisdom at this year’s Oxford Literary Festival and ‘met him’ whilst pre-ordering a copy of his book, which will hit the bookshops in June 2019.
Thubten has been a Buddhist monk since 1993 and teaches meditation and specialises in providing non-religious mindfulness workshops and training programmes for businesses and organisations.
The Neuroscientist – Dr. Ash Ranpura
A clinical neurologist and a much sought-after public speaker. Ruby refers to his ‘outrageous knowledge of neuroscience’ and that he is ‘funny too’. And the humour really shines through with this remarkable threesome.
Ruby’s book How to be Human – The Manual, I haven’t read it yet but it’s just bunked about 15 other books off the top of my ‘to read’ pile.
‘Ruby Wax will make you laugh and show you how to heal and transform your life.’
Ruby Wax is an inspiration to women of my generation, no wait… judging by the wide-ranging ages of both men and women in the audience last night, she is an inspiration to us all. She is innately funny, down to earth and compassionate, in fact, she is a role model on how to be human. I am enlighted, Ruby, thank you.
Let me leave you with a flavour of how to be human and the genius of Ruby Wax.