One reviewer of Dr Izaac Lim performing Hamlet said he’d “turn up to watch him recite the phone book”. Izaac’s show, Malpractical Jokes, with its behind-the-scenes glimpses into the humour, absurdity and pathos of medical moments, promises to be far more interesting than that!
“It’s no secret that most people are curious about just what happens inside a hospital. This show goes one step further by lifting the lid on what might be happening inside the mind of a doctor.”
“There are some funny moments but essentially this taps into the absurdity of it all, that life is a bit of a joke and sometimes we, as doctors, also feel like a bit of a joke. I hope there’ll be some emotional resonance with these stories and that the audience will see that we’re neither gods nor robots.”
“I want people to know that doctors are mere human beings with flaws and quirks just like everyone else. And I’m aiming to entertain people, too!”
The psychiatric registrar currently based at Albany Hospital readily concedes that medicos often see the raw side of life and sometimes it’s not all that amusing.
“There are funny things that happen all the time in medicine. And there are others you just have to laugh about because if you didn’t you’d cry. It’s well known that a lot of doctors develop a protective black humour because we’re often dealing with extreme situations.”
“Sometimes it’s difficult to believe what happens out there in the real world. We see the ‘pointy’ end in a hospital environment and sometimes you come across things that are so terrible, so sad and yet there’s humour there too.”
“I think it’s important to acknowledge just how uncomfortable we feel sometimes, and that life is essentially pretty absurd.”
Izaac is the first doctor in his family but the artistic gene runs like a thread through the Lim clan.
“I loved theatre in school and then I became involved in cabaret and storytelling. My family has always been very supportive of the arts, my brother is a talented organist and my sister is an excellent dancer.”
“Our mother gets a lot of joy seeing us create something unique and she always comes to my shows multiple times.”
Isaac certainly doesn’t regard medicine as a ‘second career’ and he’s under no illusion regarding the difficulties of the ‘creative’ life.
“I love my job as a doctor and I could never be a full-time artist. It’s a really difficult way to live with all kinds of uncertainties and genuine talent doesn’t always bring success. Nonetheless, the arts are important to me and I intend to keep that very much alive.”
“I’m hoping this show at the Maj will humanise the doctor/patient relationship and enrich people’s understanding of just what’s going on in the consultation room.”
Michael Cassel and Cameron Mackintosh