I’m always a little anxious sitting down to watch a solo cabaret show, especially on opening night. Will the performer be visibly nervous? Will they forget their way? Will they handle audience response? And above all, will the audience laugh and get IT?
But sitting down to watch Izaak Lim in his solo comedy cabaret Malpractical Jokes, I felt none of that. The moment Lim hit the Downstairs at the Maj stage, I was instantly put at ease. He commands that space and we settle in for an hour of laughs and poignant insights into what it’s like working as a Doctor in a hospital ward.
Now, it may not sound like the perfect match, medicine and cabaret, but Lim is such a naturally talented storyteller that he pulls it off! He takes us on a wonderfully humorous journey through medical school, cadavers, female anatomy, blossoming sexuality and the complex dating world of Tinder.
The show is based on Lim telling simple, seemingly unrelated stories and framed by songs – but they are linked – they are all firsts, firsts that tap into what he describes as “that humanity” of being human. What is especially lovely about this performance are the beautiful poignant moments; delivering his first baby and the first loss of a patient. Two truly moving moments. I don’t think I have been to a cabaret show in which an entire venue are silenced by words – just listening – wonderful connection.
Each carefully chosen insight is accompanied by song from the world of Musical Theatre. I won’t reveal them individually and spoil the surprises, but Lim’s vocal talent is outstanding. His beautifully rich tone and song interpretation are spot on and when accompanied by the always outstanding Tim Cunniffe (dressed in hospital scrubs) on piano, the combination is a pleasure to witness.
Malpractical Jokes: A Medical Cabaret plays Downstairs at the Maj until 5 November.
I highly recommend an appointment with this Doctor!