Are you tired of the persistence of peer pressure to be cool and to fit in? Ruth E. Cockburn is, and in this funny and heartwarming show, she relates a whole host of situations into which we may easily be led. From panicked prepubescent sex-ed classes, to dodgy drug dealing, to awkward adult assaults, Ruth covers it all. Discussed in a warm and likable manner, this is still a show you could watch with your mum (in spite of tales of willy-windmilling).
From the word go, Ruth is alert and engaging, and in the comfort of a small venue she really gets to know her audience. The natural conversation is more successful than the stilted, scripted audience participation, but nevertheless the established relationship provides the show with a comfortable atmosphere right up to its end.
Whilst Ruth may have been nondiscriminatory in choosing which audience members she approached in her bantering, her show material is clearly targeted at a female audience. As it draws upon her experiences, hilarious stories of awkward chat-up lines and aggressive Brazilian waxes struck a chord of recognition with the women in the room, but may have evoked some discomfort amongst some of the men. However, Ruth’s self-deprecation and intimate honesty should consistently appeal to all.
The highlights of the show arrive in the witty lyrics of the smattering of songs that combine tuneful guitar playing and strong vocals. With two songs squeezed together in the middle and only one at the end, the show could benefit from some structural tweaks so that a few more cheeky tunes could be equally distributed throughout the show.
The show builds momentum as Ruth’s charisma gets the audience unequivocally on her side. The bizarre hilarity of stories in which she wants to ‘people-please’ certainly please her audience, so embrace the pressure and let yourself be led to watch it.