George's Marvellous Medics

Mon 20th – Sat 25th August 2012


Rachel Cunliffe

at 02:29 on 24th Aug 2012



‘George’s Marvelous Medics’, a comedy revue performed by medical students at St George’s (get it?), has great potential, as is clear from the name of the show and their enthusiastic flyering on the Mile. And their opening is promising: a witty and hilarious rewriting of the Modern Major-General’s Song about what it means to be studying medicine in this day and age. Their self-deprecating humour goes down well, and the fact that they are all costumed in hospital scrubs is a constant reminder of who they are and what this show is about.

Sadly, the rest of the show fails to live up to the hype. In general, sketches go on too long and the punch-lines tend to fall flat. A good concept often falls apart at the end and there is none of the tightness that can be found in other sketch shows with more experienced performers. The ideas are solid, but the execution is poor. The cast are clearly having a fantastic time, and this really comes across, but they do seem to be enjoying it more than the audience. They also occasionally cross the line between good comedy and bad taste – jokes about dementia should be handled with extreme care. And some, like one about a perverted boy scout, are just not that funny.

Some sketches do work well, such as two involving demonic agent from BUPA, and another featuring a painfully cheerful psychiatrist with the sunniest Australian accent I’ve ever heard. In general, the sketches that incorporate the medical theme work best and give the show some kind of structure. The political pasty-rap at the end is great, as is a sketch about Shakespeare as a child, and one about real life vs. online dating is based on a brilliant concept (including the horrified line ‘she could have been ANYONE!’). The Olympics are a running theme, which is sometimes effective, though at times it feels as though the writers have mistaken topical for funny.

This show is certainly entertaining, and these medics should feel proud of what they have achieved – the house was full when I went, and I’ve been informed that it’s selling extremely well. On the whole though, this example of sketch comedy is enthusiastic but mediocre.


Charlie Brookhouse

at 06:31 on 24th Aug 2012



A brief sketch of life in a hospital, George’s Marvellous Medics is definitely likely to tickle your funny bone. Although the comics may be dressed in scrubs, expect some dirty humour. The Marvellous Medics begin by probing the plausibility of the bond of trust that supposedly extends over all medical practice. ‘Paediatrics’ is suggestively shortened to 'Peads' and the more scatological jobs of these young medics are grotesquely glamorised. But if you’re thinking Marvellous Medics’ humour is itself unhealthy, don’t worry, the joke is always on the institution.

The sketch’s psychiatrist represents the possible absurdity of a regimented environment in which patients trust “professionals” to tell them who they are. Seemingly irrelevant questions provoke answers that the expert probes for implications. Her interpretative criteria almost always suggest her patients are high up on the ‘not mental – mental’ scale. More subtly, in this show modern medicine’s claim to have a category for everything is subverted by the semantic slippages of humorous word play. Shakespeare’s parents are imagined as receiving a schoolteacher’s diagnosis of their son’s eccentric behaviour. One seemingly inexplicable episode sees the precocious playwright draw inspiration from the question of whether he wants to be a bee.

The Marvellous Medics would do well to go further with the comic vehicle of the hospital. The punchlines of their other sketches rarely live up to the expectation. There’s nothing funny about an irritating adult boy scout. It’s just irritating. The hospital, on the other hand, is a place where conventions are inverted. Lack of basic self-control is perfectly normal and scatology is not impropriety. The worlds inside and outside the hospital parody one another. It’s a shame that more of the Medics’ pieces didn’t explore this dynamic.

Where the Medics favour the asymmetric sort of sketch in which a long preamble leads to a snappy one-liner, the joke itself is often below par. When it comes to word play, the cast seems less at ease with the material. That said, the show’s execution is likely to improve drastically with each performance and making a trip to Surgeon’s Hall is still a sure fire way to inject some humour into your life.


Audience Avg.

0 votes, 0 comments

Click here for more event information

cast involved

other events on

Version 0.3.7a