Title of Show: Michael Akadiri: No Scrubs Venue: Pleasance Courtyard – Cellar Time: 8.30pm Dates: 3rd – 28th August (except 16th) Photograph: Garry Carbon Links: Profile and Social Media
Tell me about your 2022 Edinburgh Festival Fringe show.
No Scrubs is about my life in the NHS, my life outside it and how these Scrubs had me summoned to court. I explore my professional but also my private life and how these compliment and conflict one another. Such internal conflicts seem to produce the best humour.
Scrubs is a double entrende throughout the show, whether I’m referring to them in a medical sense or a 90s TLC R&B sense. I’m sometimes seen as the latter when I’m not wearing the former which has me pondering; am I a Scrub for wearing no Scrubs?
By the end of the show, I hope I’ve answered that question plus we’ll have a lot of laughs en-route.
Thinking about you working as a doctor and performing as a stand up. Are there any transferable skills?
There must be as there are quite a few of us who live this double life!
Doctors are medical investigators; we use patient’s histories (what they tell us), examination findings and relevant investigations to deduce a diagnosis (the conclusion) so we can administer treatment accordingly.
When preparing my stand up, I too use any tools at my disposable, whether that’s linguistically or performatively to reach a conclusion of a punchline where my treatment or in other words, reward is laughter. Of course, there’s a bit of trial and error involved here as I investigate the best and most efficient way to the punchline and thus the laugh.
Moreover, doctors spend their time around people from all walks of life, ages and backgrounds. You end up getting an idea of what people think, their views of certain topics and a good insight to the feeling on the ground. I believe this allows my stand up to be better informed than it would be without it. Part of me fears the day stand up takes over completely and closes my unique window on society.
Above all, from a cynical comedy perspective, it’s a great fertile breeding ground for material.
What shape is the NHS in post-Covid?
It wasn’t in the best shape pre COVID with just the presence of winter putting the health service under strain so add a pandemic to that mix so you can imagine the pandemonium.
Post COVID, there’s a desire to play catch up, especially in terms of more elective care (hospital clinic appointments and operations) which from what I see on the ground is happening.
Also, people are back presenting to ED with pre pandemic antics. Breaking your ankle after jumping off a wheelie bin intoxicated? Yep, the NHS is back to normality, but with a bigger backlog.
Tell me about your sketch collaborations with LadBible.
This was a lot of fun!
Reminiscing about the depth of the lockdown just got me thinking how wild a time we were living in! Monday 12th April 2021 was the date a section of restrictions were lifted, including allowing barbershops and hair saloons were allowed to reopen. I’m hairline challenged (thank you father) so this meant nothing to me but thought it’d be hilarious if I got a ‘haircut’ on the day, courtesy of fake hair piece (weave, male weave – meave) installation.
So, I had the piece installed and I spent the afternoon nonchalantly FaceTiming friends and family, recording their reactions of disbelief and amazement. Not even my God fearing mother thought that this could be the result of prayer.
It was enjoyable to plan; however, it was even more exhilarating to actually record it. Fortunately, Ladbible and Spirit Studios (who helped produced it) thought soo too.
Hopefully more collabs with them are on the horizon!
Finally, ask and answer a question of your own.
Who else do you recommend going to see at the festival?
I’m excited by the fact there many of my friends of the circuit are debuting their shows for the first time, I’m going to enjoy watching theirs as much as undertaking my own!
Just a handful of names (as I really could go on and on) I’d recommend checking out are Aurie Styla, Lily Philips, Thanyia Moore and Ali Woods.
Ttckets: Michael Akadiri: No Scrubs