Nurse Georgie Carroll: Sista Flo 2.0 | Melbourne International Comedy Festival review
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Nurse Georgie Carroll: Sista Flo 2.0

Melbourne International Comedy Festival review

Hospitals have long been a rich source of comedy, home to so many humiliating experiences that reduce us all, whoever we are and whatever our supposed sophistication, to our most vulnerable and primal selves. 

In recent years, Adam Kay – who’s in Melbourne later this week – has tapped that demand like no other. But Nurse Georgie Carroll has been doing it longer, turning to comedy more than a decade ago after moving from North-West England to Adelaide.

However, she’s neither as dark nor as politically motivated as the This Is Going To Hurt author. Her chatty tone is more akin to the banter of a nurses’ station, sharing gossip along the lines of ‘you’ll never believe what happened to Mr Jones in bed three’ or ‘wasn’t that specialist a bit of a bastard?’

Around half of those in the audience work in the health system, and there are plenty of laughs of recognition about the travails of the job as well as empathy as she bitches about some of the people she’s encountered. It’s cathartic to get such gripes out into the open and unifying to recollect: ‘Do you remember the first time you got a catheter in right first time?’

For the rest of us, it’s amusing to learn that nurses aren’t the faultless angels they can be portrayed as and can have a fairly lax attitude to their own wellbeing, Carroll being a case in point, not watching what she eats and careless as to how she takes the Pill.

Of course, there are plenty of wince-inducing anecdotes about things found lodged where they shouldn’t be, about the weirdest house call she ever made, or about how medics compare stool samples. We’re never too far from piss or pooh, as you’d probably expect, while there are a few stories from home, especially concerning her teenage sons too.

As a nurse, she projects a non-nonsense state of mind, which is why she finds laughs in her patients’ predicaments. Never mind some of the niceties of care – nor the fact she doesn’t know the difference between the two meanings of cervical depending on how it’s pronounced, she’ll get the job done. 

She brings that same no-frills approach to her comic storytelling, as well an engaging bedside manner, warm and friendly even when describing the worst situations. What a healthy attitude!

Nurse Georgie Carroll: Sista Flo 2.0 is at the Athenaeum Theatre at 8pm (7pm Sundays, no show Mondays) until April 23.

Review date: 10 Apr 2023
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Melbourne International Comedy Festival

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