Suzi Ruffell: Social Chameleon

An epic march through Paris searching for the grave of someone called Jean-Paul Satre just to please an ex-girlfriend is one of the many very funny and brilliantly recounted tales in Suzi Ruffell’s latest show, Social Chameleon. The title refers to Ruffell’s claim that her social anxieties and self-consciousness mean she’s never comfortable being herself; she’s always taking on different personalities to please others.

Ruffell has clearly given the material and her message a great deal of thought, and it shows. She makes you laugh – a lot – but there’s more there if you care to look for it.

This provides Ruffell with excellent comic material as we are given stories ranging from the excruciatingly embarrassing event that is bra shopping to the effects of fourteen whiskey and lemonades on her sixteen-year-old self. The latter results in a particularly good rendition of a popular rap song which you ought to make every effort to see. We learn what Ruffell and the Mona Lisa have in common and what’s really inside the manual that lesbians receive in the post after they come out.

Much of Social Chameleon is about the perils of growing up and the accompanying feelings of unease and uncertainty – and Ruffell has some great stories about being embarrassed by her family, making a fool of herself in public and fear of missing out – but the show also has a serious, grown-up edge to it. Ruffell incorporates the hot topic of feminism with an amusing, but pointed, reading of the film Grease. The question of sexuality also neatly fits in with the theme of change and being oneself, and, while Ruffell has some great quips about gays and rainbows and coming out, here, too, there is a weightier angle.

Ruffell herself is a confident and assured performer, but maintains an air of self-deprecation in keeping with the ideas of awkwardness and insecurity. Social Chameleon is very slick show with every anecdote fitting well into the central theme. Ruffell has clearly given the material and her message a great deal of thought, and it shows. She makes you laugh – a lot – but there’s more there if you care to look for it. 

Reviews by Laura Mac

Assembly Checkpoint

Dame Diana Rigg: No Turn Unstoned

★★★
Traverse Theatre

The Carousel

★★
Assembly George Square Studios

Suzi Ruffell: Social Chameleon

★★★★
theSpace on North Bridge

Hold for Three Seconds

★★★
Gilded Balloon

Outings

★★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

Chef

★★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Fresh from supporting some of the UK’s top comedians on their sold out tours including Alan Carr, Josh Widdicombe and Kevin Bridges, Suzi returns to Edinburgh this summer with her brand-new show. In it the 'stand-up gem' (Guardian) questions why she spent 27 years trying to make anyone and everyone like her. Turns outs it takes a bully from Swansea, a too-honest mother and searching a Parisian graveyard for someone she has never heard of to give up trying and just be herself– yes, we are all hoping she hasn't turned out to be a d*ckhead.

Most Popular See More

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Come From Away

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Back to the Future - The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets