Dr Phil’s Rude Health Show

5 Stars

*****

Phil Hammond’s brand of comedy is impish, waspish and fiercely satirical which is made more powerful by his calm delivery. As a practising GP between his TV appearances, he reveals many of the faults which exist in our public services whether it is in the NHS or education. Basically, gobbledygook has replaced common sense and humanity.

At the start of his show he asks a packed audience ‘Do you want political comedy or toilet humour?’ By an overwhelming majority, the audience went for toilet humour. Well, the audience received a whole bundle of hilarious anecdotes from his experiences as a doctor. For example, people do arrive in casualty with the strangest objects up the back passage but it was the explanations they gave which gave the belly laughs. However, in a subtle way we received a political message as his routines developed..

What I found really scary is that we have always had tricksters in medicine. Back in the 19th century they sold compounds which they claimed could cure all ailments. Now the deception is becoming corporate. There is much money to be made in providing health care.

Despite all the learned people he has encountered in his medical training, perhaps the most influential person in his life was his Uncle Ron who was content with his life of ‘happy mediocrity’. His attitude to life’s problems was ‘F**k it, f**k it’. This is an attitude Phil Hammond holds dear.

Phil Hammond has all the attributes of the good stand-up comedian – timing, pacing and presence. Allied to this, he has a message which all of us should find essential listening because we are all users of the NHS.

One feature worth mentioning is that this venue must have the most comfortable seats I have ever experienced on the Fringe – even having arm rests.

Reviewed by Ben (by sheer coincidence earlier in the day, I saw ‘Penny Dreadful’s Etherdome’ which has a medical theme taken from the 19th century)

The Space@Symposium Hall

8 to 27 August 2011 (not 21)

19.00 – 20.00

Fringe Programme Page Number: 69

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