DR PHIL HAMMOND: HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE NHS?

Since my husband and I have almost 20 years NHS service between us, the prospect of going to see Dr Phil Hammond wax lyrical about this British Institution in its 70th year of existence felt like a dream night out for us.

Dr Phil Hammond: Happy Birthday NHS? Isn’t you average comedy show. But then Dr Phil Hammond isn’t your average comedian.  He’s a general physician, a journalist, an author and until very recently a broadcaster for the BBC. He’s also the NHS’s 3rd biggest fan (after me and Dave respectively).  He has performed health related comedy at Edinburgh Fringe 8 times and has taken his latest show on the road stopping off at Newcastle’s Stand Comedy Club.

Dr Phil makes no secret of which side of the fence he sits on in terms of the NHS, Brexit, Politics etc and is the ultimate champion of NHS founder Nye Bevan. In the two hour show he charts the NHS’s history with candour and wit (with perhaps a dash of cynicism thrown in for good measure) as he sets out to single handedly fix the NHS all with a little help from the audience.

We were a little nervous when we first arrived, being the youngest people in the room by about 20 years and without a doubt the most junior members of the NHS family (if we weren’t surrounded by doctors and consultants the they were for sure retired doctors and consultants!) however we really needn’t have worried. You don’t have to work for the NHS to understand any of the content; which is funny, relevant, satirical and even heart breaking at times.  Dr Phil is open and honest about the short comings  he’s experienced as a doctor and speaks candidly about personal tragedies.

One thing that is glaringly obvious is that Dr Phil loves people. The main driver for the show is keeping the audience at the heart from the very beginning, welcoming suggestions and encouraging debate. He was happily mingling in the audience before the show and invited everyone to join him for a drink afterwards

If you’re looking for a comedy show that is an onslaught of joke/punchline/joke/punchline for 2 hours then this probably isn’t for you. Anyone who is a fan of political comedy such a Mock the Week or the Last Leg however will be in their element.

Fans of Jeremy Hunt or Jacob Rees-Mogg probably need not attend.

Thanks to Helen for guest blogging for us. If you liked this then see what else she gets up to at www.honestlyhelen.com