Adam Kay - This is Going to Hurt Live

Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor 6 Aug 2021, 7:30pm

Tickets for this performance are sold on behalf of Seabright Productions.

James Seabright presents

Adam Kay: This is Going to Hurt (Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor)

Award-winning comedian Adam Kay shares entries from his diaries as a junior doctor in this “electrifying” (Guardian) evening of stand-up and music.

The show has been seen by over 200,000 people across absolute sell-out UK tours, Edinburgh Fringes and West End runs. His book was a Sunday Times number one bestseller for over a year, and is soon to be a major BBC drama.

Signed copies of all Adam's books will be available for purchase on the night.

'Intersperses horror stories from the NHS frontline with a catalogue of sublimely silly spoof songs, and some blissfully brilliant wordplay’ ★★★★★ Mail on Sunday

‘Hilarious and heartbreaking’ Charlie Brooker

Review by Jenni Balow

Watching This is Going To Hurt Live, the secret diaries of a junior doctor, was seriously paintful, even if it was a brilliantly funny show.

Adam Kay, 41, the award winning author of those diaries, had a whopping holiday audience in stitches with his uncompromisingly dark hospital humour, clever wordplay, and hilarious songs . . .  but it all ended in tears.

After years of working triple shifts, earning less than a hospital car park ticket machine in the same amount of time, and finally a terrible and traumatic loss of a young couple's baby, through no fault of his own, he quit the NHS.

He turned his keen, sharp intelligence, and wit, to giving stand-up readings of his diaries to audiences who learned about the remarkable range of objects he has removed from the body's various orifices, and those 97 hour, yes, you read it right, 97 hour working weeks.

He recalled how his alarm failed to wake him one morning, after yet another exhausting shift, but all was well as he had fallen asleep that night in his car, still parked at the hospital - and he was "only 10 minutes late" arriving for work.

Within a couple of years, Adam had written This Is Going To Hurt, the first of several laugh-out-loud best selling books, and began sell-out tours, talking about his experiences to more than 200,000 people so far, from the Edinburgh Fringe to the West End.

A BBC television drama based on his diaries and starring Ben Whishaw as the young Dr Kay, is due to be shown later this year.

He made his entrance at the Minack wearing protective mask, visor and scrubs, propping his diary script on a giant sized tub of Paracetamol, and playing song after song on a keyboard like a pro, changing the words of Total Eclipse of the Heart, for instance, to "listening to bleeps of the heart".

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, became The Menopause Is Coming Around, and he was in his element inviting the audience to find chorus words to match his medical makeover verses to Leonard Cohen's hit song, Halleluja!

His incisive mind zoned-in on many experiences during the years it took to become a senior registrar, from the joking day to day diagnosis of "it's probably a virus, there's a lot of it about, come back if you stop breathing" to the life or death decisions he also had to make on a day to day basis.

And so we came to the "isolating and sad moments that no-one talks about", that led to his decision to leave the NHS because he was no longer coping, was becoming over-cautious as a result, and simply could not face yet another tragic death.

He still remembers that final case in "miniscule detail" a decade after it happened, and asks at his shows for donations, which at present total £135,000, to the Lullaby Trust, which supports families bereaved by the loss of babies and young children.

Finally to the pandemic and the 1.4 million frontline NHS staff who have worked harder than ever, losing 800 of their own to the disease, still caring for others, when they needed to care for themselves, still desperately under funded and under resourced.

He added: "Almost everyone knows someone who works for the NHS. Please make a point of checking in on them repeatedly, so that they do realise they have a shoulder to cry on, because the Government will not  be checking on them any time soon."

The audience stood to applaud them, and him, and we left with tears in our eyes  -  he prescribed plenty of pleasure, but left us with the pain of reality.