7. The best medicine | Edinburgh 10 x10: Shows about health issues

7. The best medicine

Edinburgh 10 x10: Shows about health issues

1. Carey Marx: Intensive Carey

Award-winning festival favourite Carey Marx wasn’t at last year’s Fringe – due to the minor inconvenience of having a heart attack three months earlier, while still in his 40s. One bypass operation later, and, of course, as a comic, his natural reaction is to start making fun of his medical condition and its treatment, which is perfectly in keeping with his often dark sensibilities. Gilded Balloon Teviot, 22:00

2. Rob Collins: Jesus Christ Flew Into The Cuckoo’s Nest

On March 31, comedian Rob Collins was admitted to a psychiatric hospital, as he was suffering delusions of being Jesus Christ. It was the unhappy culmination of 22 years of misdiagnosis, medication and mental illness. Plenty of fodder, then, for an Edinburgh show... Laughing Horse @ Espionage, 14:15

3. Juliette Burton: When I Grow Up

Half of the Mace and Burton double act, 28-year-old Juliette suffers acute body dysmorphia, a psychological condition which means she doesn’t see herself as others do when she looks in the mirror. It’s meant battles with anorexia, bulimia, obsessive eating and depression – with her weight shooting from a dangerous four stone to 20 stone in just six months. This, combined with her childhood dreams, is the basis for her debut solo show. Gilded Balloon Teviot, 13:15

4. Over It

Still with body issues, Dave Chawner doesn’t fit the stereotype of an anorexic, simply by being male. In one half of this double-header, he jokes about the condition; while in the other Robyn Perkins talks about grieving, as she mourns the premature death of her partner. But despite the dark, even taboo, subject matter, it is in the comedy section, so laughs are the aim. Laughing Horse @ The Free Sisters, 18:00

5. John Williams: My Son Is Not Rainman

A comedian and single dad tells the story of raising his 11-year-old son, who’s autistic. ‘He isn’t a genius; his only special power is making his dad laugh. A lot,’ he says. This show, described as ‘a rollercoaster of emotions’, has been directed by Anna Crilley and aims to shed light on the everyday experiences, both the difficulties and the joy, of raising an autistic child. Just The Tonic at Bristo Square, 14:50

6. Gusset Grippers

A comedy that teaches you about your pelvic floor. Really. Physiotherapist Elaine Miller runs what are essentially incontinence-themed Tupperware parties at women’s homes, combining entertainment with exercise tips and assorted merchandise like weights and books. And now the idea is coming to Edinburgh. Expect reviews about ‘pissing yourself laughing’. Laughing Horse @ The Newsroom. 12.00

7. Lost Voice Guy: A Voice of Choice

Lee Ridley has cerebral palsy, which means he can’t talk. But thanks to technology, he still has a voice – and as probably the first stand-up to use a communication aid, he has become a circuit feature, now making his full Edinburgh debut. Typical gag: ‘‘I used to be in a disabled Steps tribute band. We were called Ramps. We faced an uphill struggle.’The Stand 4, 20:10 He’s also appearing in the two-hander Are You A Technophile? with Emily Wood at Laughing Horse @ Bar 50, 15:30

8. Aidan Goatley Is On The Mend

The Brighton-based comic is back on the Free Fringe with the popular 10 Films With My Dad – and also this new solo show, about how he coped with his mental breakdown... with the aid of Hollywood. There seems to be a theme here. The Voodoo Rooms, 18:05

9. Laura Levites: Selfhelpless

What is it with comedians and depression? Does one make you more prone to the other? Or just a reflection of the problems lots of people have. Unanswerable questions, but this is American stand-up Laura Levites’ take on ‘drugs, shrinks and denial’ as she discusses her condition. Gilded Balloon Teviot, 14:45

10. A Midwife Crisis

And if all these shows have put you in awe of health professionals, prepare for a comedown. Medical students – those future doctors and consultants – never have the best reputation for professional behaviour. Or indeed for erudite comedy shows. This is the annual offering from the St George’s Medics Revue. TheSpace@Surgeons Hall, 19:05, 19th to 24th only

Published: 23 Jul 2013

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