Medic! Ten Edinburgh Fringe shows from healthcare professionals | Is laughter the best medicine? Or is it drugs?

Medic! Ten Edinburgh Fringe shows from healthcare professionals

Is laughter the best medicine? Or is it drugs?

If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past couple of years, it’s ‘listen to the medical experts’. Here are ten shows at the Edinburgh Fringe where you can do just that… And show your support for the health workers - by helping them get out of medicine and into comedy…

Dr Hammond’s Covid Inquiry

Writing in Private Eye under his pen name MD, Phil Hammond has been providing a level-headed and even-handed commentary on the pandemic ever since it started. In this political comedy show he puts all that knowledge to good use to cover what went right and wrong, whether we (and the politicians) could have had better outcomes, and why the situation became so polarised. Like Baroness Heather Hallett’s inquiry, but in an hour and with more jokes. TheSpace @ Symposium Hall 8.10pm, August 15 to 27 . And as the comedian steps down from his day job as a GP he reflects on his time as a whistleblower exposing the problems within the understaffed and error-strewn NHS in the sister show How I Ruined Medicine  TheSpace @ Surgeons Hall (where else?) 9.40pm, August 15 to 27

Shaun Patrick Flynn RN: Healthcare Anti-Hero

The US-based comedian is a registered nurse (that’s the RN) who works in critical care. So during the pandemic he was grafting long hours caring for critically ill Covid-19 patients. He’s working less hard at the Fringe, with just one date, but if you want dark absurd comedy from the front line, that’s what he promises…  RSE Theatre, 6.30pm, August 18 only

The Big Fat C

For a bit of a different perspective on coronavirus, Jack Campbell  – who was the English Comedian of the Year in 2014 – offers some observations from the 18 months he spent working in a Covid testing centre.  PBH's Free Fringe @ Legends  7.20pm

Michael Akadiri: No Scrubs

A comic who’s appeared on ITV2’s Stand Up Sketch Show and the BBC New Comedy Award, Michael Akadiri is also a junior doctor on the frontline who has worked on geriatrics and psychiatry wards, among others. In No Scrubs, his debut hour, he talks the daily challenges of life within the NHS and whether we should really hold doctors up as tole models. Pleasance Courtyard, 8.35pm.

Stefania Licari: Medico

Intensive care doctor Stefania Licari mixes stories from the medical world with her experiences of immigration and thoughts on nationality, as an Italian working in the UK. She was trained by clown professor Phillip Gaulier and performs as an alter-ego,  Dr Anna LaRosa. Just the Tonic Nucleus, 3.10pm

Jacky Power: Stop the World I Want to Get Off

Jacky Power is a mental health professional specialising in  trauma, addiction and codependency – and hosts the Therapeutic Poet Podcast to address tricky subjects. But although that sounds a bit heavy, she also uses a lot of humour in her spoken word show, which is heading to the festival.  Greenside @ Riddles Court, 1.45pm, August 6 to 12 only

Ed Patrick: Catch Your Breath (Work in Progress)

The stand-up is also a junior doctor, working in anaesthesiology. He wrote a book about his experiences – riding that Adam Kay wave – which shares a title with this work-in progress show. Phil Hammond, see above, said of Patrick: ‘He is cutting his teeth in anaesthetics, taking people as close to death as you can take them, and then trying to wake them up again. And makes it funny.’   Just the Tonic at The Caves, midday

Benji Waterstones: You Don't Have to Be Mad to Work Here (Work in Progress)

Another comedian and medical pro with a book about his NHS experiences who’s at Edinburgh working on a live version. Benji Waterstones is a psychiatrist whose forthcoming volume – which share its title with this show – is a fly on the padded-wall account of the mental health world that busts some myths (eg: there are no padded walls)  Just the Tonic at The Caves, 12.50

Kwame Asante: Living In Sin

We mentioned Kwame Asante yesterday as part of our round-up of Chortle Student Comedy Award champions returning to the Fringe. As well as being a comic who was nominated for best newcomer at the 2017 Edinburgh Comedy Awards,  he’s an A&E doctor in Birmingham and his Edinburgh show reflects on how religion intersects with that. By saving lives, is he opposing the will of God? Pleasance Courtyard 4.45pm

Paul Sinha: One Sinha Lifetime

OK, so it’s been a long time since the stand-up and quizzer was a GP, but we surely have to include Paul Sinha if only for the sake of the delightful pun of his title. Nowadays, he finds himself on the other side of medical care for his Parkinson’s Disease, and this, his ‘difficult second post- diagnosis album’ promises a ‘rich tapestry of japes and scrapes, triumphs and disasters’. The Stand’s New Town Theatre, 4.40pm

Published: 26 Jul 2022

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