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Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2007
Doctor Deepak's Midnite Surgery
At the witching hour, consultations with me come with a Government Health Warning! I tell it like it is, man! Meet my special guest, pull-no-punches Billy Bangra, London's most politically incorrect Eastender. Not for the faint-hearted.
Doctor Deepak should be struck off the Fringe register for comedic malpractice. His show is more incomprehensible than the average GPís handwriting, and about as painful as unnecessary surgery.
The premise is that he has multiple personality disorder, with the mild-mannered him transmogrifying into either an aggressive, creepy lunatic medic or a patriotic, bhangra-loving Bangladeshi cockney.
The first is just strange, generally muttering, ranting and making little sense. At the culmination of his first unfunny appearance, he sings Delilah as he kicks around an inflatable woman while dressed in kilt and white coat. The second time, he advocates men act as bastards to women, before handing out chocolate willies and boobs as he gives another karaoke track.
You might expect this sort of schoolboy humour from a student medical revue, but Dr Deepak is well into middle age Ė and, frankly, itís embarrassing. There arenít any jokes to cushion the blow, either.
His second character is utterly vile, and bizarrely racist. Dressed head-to-toe in the Union Flag, he moans that Londonís East End has been overrun with mosques and curry houses, and advocates we should all be allowed to bandy around words like Ďniggerí if we like. Itís unclear whether this is meant as a satire on these attitudes, or if heís genuinely advocating them, so ill thought-out and badly executed is the half-arsed idea.
Again, gags are so thin on the ground as to be unnoticeable. Thereís something vague about his arranged-marriage wife being so ugly she has to wear the hijab, which could possible be turned into a weak one-liner at best, but he ekes it out for three or four agonising minutes, so unfocussed and verbiose is his thinking.
He has almost no clue how comedy ought to work, even if heís got the money to waste on a Fringe show.
The entire performance is awkward, amateurish and laugh-free. If you could have assisted suicides for fringe shows, this would be a prime candidate.
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
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