with special guest Sully O’Sullivan
The raft that laughed. The chariot of chortles. The five door of haw haw.
Yes, for one night only, the Letham Nights rock n roll behemoth became instead a vehicle for amusement and smirkful appreciation of the dark arts of the stand-up comedian.
At this point a lesser reviewer would offer up a corny play on ‘laughter being the best medicine’ and ‘who better to mend a broken funny bone than a qualified doctor’ and ‘doctor, doctor, my sides have split with mirth’ and other such baloney. But we’d never do that….. Never in a million years…… Well, erm…. You see we’ve never had a proper comedy night (complete with full blown comedy legend) so we’re a bit nervous about committing our stodgy witticisms and feeble gags to posterity lest we be judged for the ill-bred toothless simpletons that we, admittedly, are. Be that as it may, there was a night, and oh, what a night. A night of laughter and pathos. Of stage-diving and c-bombing. Of Matt the Knob and ‘Steve’ the King of Latin. Of old booze and new friends. And to cap it all there was the semi-mythical heifer of beneficence, shaking her mighty udders over all assembled and causing them to spill great filthy wadges of cash into the milk-bucket of kindness and making a sh*t-load of money for MacMillan Cancer Support in memory of great friend and Mutley-wheezing, teary-eyed joker, Iain Macaulay.
First up was Kiwi Mancunian (Mankiwian?) hepcat, Sully O’Sullivan. Sully had us pretty well sized up (somewhere between pre-theatre and social club) before he’d delivered his first line. Sure enough, his mischievous patter hit all the right notes and his bits on Britain’s national animals (‘we’ll see your dragon and raise you a unicorn’) and religious fights between Paisley school kids had us all in bits. I’m afraid poor Matt came in for a bit of stick but if you will sit fifteen rows from the stage what do you expect, Matt? It was prudent that we had doctors in as Sully’s Dirty Dancing finale with ‘Steve’ could have ended badly but turned out to be a thing, nay a shimmering crystalline moment in time, so achingly beautiful as to bring a tear to the eye of all who could bring themselves to watch. The time of our lives, indeed!
Then our main turn, ladies and gentleman. And we were in the company of comedy royalty. Author, performer, writer of radio and television gold, qualified doctor and all round good egg, Adam Kay was in the house and rocking a rather fetching medical shoe for an injury caused by a randy bull…possibly. Adam’s performance was less stand-up comedy and more subtle comic rhetoric with musical accompaniment and political overtones. So a hilariously uncomfortable excerpt from his ‘young doctor’s case book’ about patients with (how to put this) self-administered ad-hoc internal prosthetics are followed by medical reworkings of popular hits. Who could forget Paul McCartney’s jaunty tribute to urinary issues, ‘Oh Bloody Bladder’? Or that timeless paean to pulmonary decay, ‘The Girl with Emphysema’? But it’s not all hits and giggles. Adam has been leading us up the garden path, boys and girls. By way of finale he offers us the harrowing story of his final outing as an obstetrician. It’s not pretty and it’s not funny but it is big and clever and it leaves no one in any doubt of the point that Adam has been craftily leading us up to. It seems our medical professionals are not in it for the money or adulation and Secretaries of State who claim otherwise are disingenuous at best and perhaps even a little bit shitey. Well, quite.
Adam’s generosity didn’t stop at waiving his fee. He also provided us with ten, personally dedicated copies of his amazing new book, ‘This is Going to Hurt’, for silent auction. And our amazing Letham Nighters went above and beyond the call of duty with the books and takings fetching a cool £1,760 (one thousand, seven hundred and sixty pounds) for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Then, with lessons learned and laughter laughed we supped a while under the auspices of Roy’s iPod. And best of all, we made a shed-load of cash for a brilliant charity whose work has, tragically, touched almost all of us personally. Because amongst all the laughs and the craic, this was an evening to remember those we’ve lost along the way, to help those who can still be helped, and to restate a promise that one day we will beat cancer for ever. LN x
Find Adam Kay here: http://www.adamkay.co.uk/
And Sully O’Sullivan here: http://www.sullyosullivan.com/