I didn't expect to see an 80 year old strip for me tonight but that's what I got with Lynn Ruth Miller's Grannies Gone Wild. A revealing, funny, inspirational hour I'll never forget. The gags come thick and fast ("I'm from Brighton but I happen to like men") and her timing's great but what makes Lynn Ruth special is her warmth and sincerity. Within minutes she has her audience singing along (to original songs), laughing and grinning like kids on Christmas morning.
A lot of performers struggle to make their patter sound natural. They should watch Lynn Ruth - it's a master class. Sure she's reciting a script but you'd never know it, it all sounds right off-the-cuff.
Grannies Gone Wild is Lynn Ruth sharing a lifetime of funny stories punctuated with parodies like 'Thank Heaven for Little Pads' which sees a flurry of incontinence pads flying back and forth from the stage to the audience. Somehow she makes this not only funny, but endearing.
From drug addiction, nudity and internet dating she leaves no ageing stone unturned. She's racy ("I want to come back as a prostitute"), she brash and she speaks her mind - but through it all she radiates love. Love for her audience and love for life. Just a few days ago she broke her arm. For most 80 year olds that would be game-over but Lynn Ruth never missed a show. In fact the day it happened she did five. If that doesn't inspire a whining 43 year old like me to pull my socks up, nothing will.
The silliness is punctuated with the beautiful songs Look In The Mirror and Nothing Like Love, reminding us that no matter how many years a person has they still need a hug, a little kindness and someone special in their lives.
Lynn Ruth writes all her own lyrics but credit to writers Bill Smith, Robert Pettigrew, Larry Dunlop for proving some of the original material.
Spending an hour in Lynn Ruth's company is like visiting a favourite aunt - you just feel better for it. All that's missing is the homemade fruit cake. When she sings "I've got all my life to live and I've got all my love to give" you know she means every word.