Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Lynn Ruth Miller: Get a Grip, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Claire Smith.
It’s billed as cabaret but this is really more of a storytelling show about kindness, patience and learning to love yourself.
Lynn Ruth Miller is 81 years old. She started stand-up at 70 and regularly “talks dirty” at burlesque nights.
Two years ago, the American performer won the TOAST Cabaret award with a show that saw her stripping to her underwear, doing hoary old jokes about ageing and encouraging the audience to throw incontinence pads at her.
Get A Grip is a change of pace – a life-changing and life-affirming show about learning not to be afraid.
Showing us photographs of when she was a little girl, Miller takes us back to a childhood which taught her to be scared of everything; of love, of touch, of human affection.
Her childhood wasn’t abusive, just cold and dysfunctional, and it took until she was in her fifties for Miller to learn to treat herself with compassion.
The journey takes her across America in a Winnebago, involves a brush with the sex trade and explains how she finally found her peace in a town full of pot-smoking drop-outs.
The life lessons it tells are universal and simply told. If you are looking for happiness you’ll find some important clues here. Happiness might not be where you think it is. You might find it in fresh flowers, walking the dog or watching little babies’ faces.
I should probably say as a disclaimer that Miller is a friend of mine, who sometimes pops over to my place for a chicken dinner and a bath. I was nervous about reviewing this show in case I didn’t like it so much – but I loved it.
Finally, at the age of 81, the poor little rich girl has transformed herself into a swan.
C Nova (Venue 145) until 31 August
Published in The Scotsman on 22 August 2015
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