Ruby Wax: How to be Human
‘We need to find out before the future arrives - before it’s too late - because very soon computers are going to put us into snow globes and give them to each other for Christmas. Before we replace any of our own parts to make us faster, sexier, longer lasting it would be good to know where’s the part that defines us as being human.’ Ruby Wax
The New Year throws up all sorts of hopes and challenges. To guide us through them, join Ruby Wax, whose new book How to Be Human: The Manual offers us a consoling look at the quirks and compulsions that make us entirely, forgivably human.
Dr Ash Ranpura, a neuroscientist and clinical neurologist of 25 years’ experience, and Gelong Thubten, an ordained Buddhist monk, join Ruby Wax on stage to discuss How to be Human.
The comedian and writer Ruby Wax has been one of the most prominent voices in the UK when it comes to dispelling taboos around mental health. Her writing and performance tackle difficult subjects with a remarkable candidness, encouraging us to feel more comfortable admitting how crazy we all really feel and to be kinder around our own emotions, mental health and inner frazzle.
Wax began her career as an actress in the Royal Shakespeare Company in the 1970s. She went on to write and perform in her own television programmes for over 25 years and was Script Editor on all series of Absolutely Fabulous from 1992-2012. She returned to full-time education in 2013 and was awarded master’s degree in psychology from Oxford University and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy from Regent’s College, London where she is also an Honorary Senior Fellow. Since then, she has published two number-one bestselling books - Sane New World and A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled – and has toured all over the world with the accompanying one-woman shows.
She was awarded an OBE for her services to mental health in 2015, appointed Visiting Professor in Mental Health Nursing at the University of Surrey and was recently announced as the new President of the relationship support charity Relate. She has become a leading speaker on mental health issues including appearances at The Home Office, MI5, Apple, Goldman Sachs, KPMG, Merrill Lynch, Bank of America, Downing Street, the House of Lords, Google, The Cabinet-Director Generals and TEDGlobal and holds honorary doctorates from the University of East London and Staffordshire University and a life fellowship from City Lit in London in recognition of her work in mental health.
Having already explored ways to help us feel calmer and more content, she has now focused her attention on an even bigger question that surrounds our lives: in a world that is increasingly online and beholden to technology, what is it that makes us truly human?
In her book, How to Be Human: The Manual, written in dialogue with a monk and a neuroscientist, she tackles some of the thorniest questions which confront us in our increasingly complex, distracting and disquieting times.
Ruby will be joined on stage by Gelong Thubten (the monk) who tells us how the mind works and Ash Ranpura (the neuroscientist) who tells us what makes us ‘us’ in the brain and together they will discuss How to be Human and everything from evolution to addictions, negative thought patterns, relationship troubles, sex, children, and the future of our species. Sharing hilarious anecdotes from her own life, alongside insight derived from her two expert advisers, this promises to be an exceptional evening of inquiry, pathos and deeply-felt laughter.
Your ticket will include a copy of How to Be Human: The Manual, which will be available for collection at the event.