After losing my theatre virginity (Worthing Connaught’s at least!), I then got to visit Worthing Pavilion last week for the first time after passing it hundreds of times on walks along the pier. Even more exciting the show was Ruby Wax’s Frazzled, a night of comedy AND mindfulness tips, which is exactly what I needed. Too often I am bogged down by doctors visits, medication and the stigma attached to depression, and it was completely refreshing to have Ruby Wax come at it from a completely different angle, and make the audience completely at ease towards the topic.
I had absolutely no idea what to expect when it came to the show as I have never been to a performance like this- it was structured as a friendly and casual conversation , particularly in the second half of the show when members of the audience could ask Ruby anything they liked about Mindfulness and the Masters degree she achieved in Cognitive Therapy (can I hear a woop woop!) Ruby relaxed the audience with a few exercises targeted at focusing on your senses to de-stress and ground ourselves. It was really surreal when the whole room was silent and poised practising her methods, and she really captivated everyone’s attention. She also included a scratch and sniff card which was incorporated into her performance which smelt like lavender. She expressed the importance of focusing on the sounds around you when you are feeling anxious, and really honing in on what’s going on around you. You can also alternatively savour the taste of food or smells (sight doesn’t work in the same way according to Ruby). She reassured us that our minds will always be busy and that’s okay, but to just allow your focus to keep returning to the same point, and that you haven’t done anything wrong if your mind starts wandering again it’s natural. Alongside giving us tips on how to handle our mental health, she also shared her personal experiences with her own upbringing and also the knowledge she learnt from University.
In my opinion it is the best thing I have ever done for my mental health; previously I have outright refused cognitive therapy after learning it at college, but her talk has really changed my mind. Ruby shares that if you are on medication you should use the therapy alongside it and not as alternative, and that is something that I am really keen to get involved with now. The pavilion had two stalls either side of the room one selling Ruby’s Frazzled book, and the other with refreshments. There is also a bar immediately as you enter the building, which was ideal for a few drinks while we were waiting (as we arrived pretty early)! Ruby was actually on time which was really unexpected as a lot of gigs and performances I have been to are usually started WAY later than anticipated. Anywho I was really pleased to see her book on sale, and sent Pete wading through the crowd to pick me one up. Little did I know that when he came back he told me that Ruby would be signing them during the interval, and so luckily for me I got to have a little chat with her as well as get my book signed. She is truly a really lovely woman, who is kind and considerate to everyone who turned up and I really admired her effort. Her book is also an awesome read if you fancied picking it up, and wanted to add a little humour to the subject!
In terms of the pavilion it really is a beautiful venue, and I have visited it for the Summer fayre and food show Worthing presents. However the seating isn’t staggered and therefore if you get someone tall in front of you, well quite frankly you are screwed! I had to keep peeking through holes to see Ruby, so in the second half of the show I moved along to the right of the stage and it was SO much better. I actually had tickets for bang in the centre of the room which really was the perfect seating to have (if the seats were staggered), but in the future I will definitely opt for a side or very back position as I am too short!
Worthing Theatres don’t just show plays, there are a tonne of performances upcoming for Summer including music events, the summer circus’ (which I am super excited for), comedy/ stand up, and SO much more. Brighton might be the initial place that springs to mind for a Summer holiday but Worthing really has it’s treasures. This Summer I have a jam packed schedule for Art, Music, Plays, food and more and I cannot wait to share it all on my blog, and hope that I will see some of you guys at the upcoming events.
You can read more of Jessica's seaside inspired blogs right here: https://blondeofcarbs.com/