REVIEW: Malpractical Jokes: A Medical Cabaret | Izaak Lim


Malpractical Jokes: A Medical Cabaret

Review by Susie Conte


Billed as a “provocative collection of stories from his experience on hospital wards,” the night promises to be a unique take on the usual: a real life doctor moonlighting in cabaret. A grand piano is played by Tim Cunniffe in medical scrubs. Izaak Lim timidly and unassumingly walks on stage and proceeds to charm us with a Little Mermaid themed song about being a doctor.

He has a wry smile and his first story is about none other than vaginas. But surprisingly, he doesn’t stay on this tack with his topics. He delves deeper into the complexities of the humanity of patients and does not resort to the easy joke.

A veteran of Barefaced Stories, Lim’s storytelling skills and manner are charming. He tells stories with gentle humour and belts out songs with passion. He makes quiet observations about his patients, though his greatest target is himself and how he felt in certain situations.

He recounts his first vaginal exam, dating a colleague he found on Tinder, the life-changing moments when he delivered his first baby, and the truly heart breaking moment when he witnessed his first death. It is by turns warm and funny, and then tender and sad.

His strengths lie best in his comedic observations of being a doctor, and he is particularly talented at parodying his experience through song. Still, audiences might like to hear more stories of patients and embarrassing moments.

In a world of increasing anger and polemic, especially in the news, Izaak Lim’s show stands as beacon of hope that nice guys can get ahead. It was a testament to his charm that Tim, his pianist, was thoroughly enjoying Lim’s performance as well. His show is sold out Friday but try and get in for his final performance on Saturday.


Malpractical Jokes: A Medical Cabaret is Downstairs at the Maj until November 5. For more information and tickets to Saturday’s show, visit here.