Adam Kay: This is Going to Hurt LIVE (Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor) at the Apollo Theatre: Review by Stephen Vowles 

For me the sign of a good comic is that they draw from and perhaps even rely on what has happened to them in their lives and with Mr (Doctor) Adam Kay that is most certainly the case.

He arrived on stage in full PPE kit, clean but nor sterile with an immediate delivery of material as sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel. His humour is relaxed with a laid back subtlety to it tinged with an acerbic style. 

Kay means business and the delivery of his 70 minute set is full of quips and observational remarks as he recalls his years as a junior doctor working his way up through the ranks and quoting from his dairies. His anecdotes and how he explains what a doctor actually does were presented with the very clever use of song. Taking Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah and turning it into a running gag where audience participation was called for and we were more than prepared, after some gentle coaxing, to sing along as he changed the lyrics to the anthem. 

Kay know how to work a room and despite recalling some tender and tragic events that he witnessed as a doctor he also told of crazy times and that people’s misfortunes were, and could be, incredibly funny. 

Of course the whole Covid debacle came up and he asked us to celebrate the NHS and the people working in it. The last five minutes did have Kay putting across his political point of view and I could not chastise him for that.

A memorable night of sublime theatre where Kay’s skill as a wordsmith was clearly on show.


Adam Kay: This is Going to Hurt LIVE (Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor) runs to Saturday 8th November at the Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1D 7ES. Tickets from 0339 333 4809 or 

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