BWW Review: THIS IS GOING TO HURT, Theatre Royal Brighton
Adam Kay is a writer, comedian and former junior doctor. His candid and honest account of his time working for the NHS, This Is Going To Hurt, was published in April this year.
It was a Sunday Times bestseller and has won many other accolades, as well as being described by many as required reading for all new NHS staff. Kay is currently touring a live show based on the book following successful Edinburgh Fringe and West End runs.
Throughout the 70-minute, single-act show, Kay switches between reading out both hilarious and heartbreaking diary entries from a reflection log, and a keyboard where he shares pop song parodies with the audience about life as a junior doctor - e.g. Avril Lavigne's pop-rock hit is wittily reimagined as "Complications" and Queen/David Bowie's 1981 classic causes much laughter in the auditorium when rephrased as "And Depression".
The audience enthusiastically respond to Kay, be it wincing at a particularly gruesome A&E story - Kay has disposable bowls to chuck to nauseous attendees at the ready - or joining in with some of the singing when Kay presents a pop quiz on various diagnoses - a quiz which may or may not prompt practitioners in attendance to go do some revision.
You could hear a pin drop in the Theatre Royal when Kay recounts the incident that prompted him to leave medicine. He ends with a highly passionate, if slightly aggressive, plea to the audience to stand up for junior doctors when they are misreported in the media, which moves a few to tears and garners a standing ovation from some in the crowd.
For medics and patients alike, This Is Going To Hurt is a candid and darkly funny account of life as a junior doctor. Some of the puns are pretty painful but with a large number of health practitioners in attendance, you can be rest assured you're in safe hands with an evening of entertainment from Adam Kay.
This Is Going To Hurt played Brighton Theatre Royal 27 October and continues to tour the UK.
Photo credit: Picador