Lynn Ruth Miller: Get a Grip

An octogenarian takes us back to her youth in a touchingly honest show that deals with her fears and traumas

music review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
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Published 14 Aug 2015

You're never too old to process the traumas of your youth. Octogenarian Lynn Ruth Miller talks about the scars that her parents, mainly her mother, left her. It makes a vulnerable, honest and wise cabaret show in which Miller tells all about her past. You wish she was your friend, mother or grandmother, providing some of the life lessons we all need to learn.

She does it all without fuss. It's like having a cup of tea with her, in her living room, surrounded by photographic proof of the stories that mainly take place in Ohio, Texas and California. When the audience walks in, she directs them kindly—but very firmly—to the front row. "I want to talk with you and show you the photos, you can't see them from there," she says. You can't argue with a 81-year-old, can you?

She introduces us to bullies, explains how her mother completely destroyed her self-worth, and how she finally overcame her fears. "I like being a social failure, it makes me adorable," Miller concludes, being as grownup as she can ever be. The show might be a bit clumsy here and there, like when she asks the audience to clap along with a song which it makes it very hard to hear her soft voice. But that adds to the show's charm. Miller does standup (and striptease) at the Fringe too, but Get a Grip is her most intimate and gripping performance.