Dr Phil Hammond heads to the Plough
IF LAUGHTER is the best medicine, a joke-telling doctor is as much the cure as he is the diagnostician. Harry Hill is physician-turned-comedian but he's not a new invention by any means.
But in the case of Phil Hammond, the friendly TV doctor and Private Eye Columnist, there's an added novelty. Unlike Hill, Dr Hammond still occasionally practises as a GP.
Games To Play With Your Doctor is Hammond's one-man stage show based on his findings as a GP – a mix of fact, opinion, anecdotes and gags. Yet the material is not merely memories from a long-gone career. Hammond still works part time as a GP , so content is as fresh as it could ever be.
Dr Phil, who has popped up on Channel 4's Countdown and written and performed for radio works including BBC Radio 4's Struck Off And Die, is perhaps best known for BBC2's Trust Me, I'm A Doctor.
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He claims "keeping a straight face is the hardest thing a doctor has to learn".
Games To Play With Your Doctor gives pain, suffering and embarrassment the good old-fashioned if-you-don't-laugh-you-cry treatment.
But the show's aim is to rouse the public to take action to save the NHS. Dr Phil outlines how each patient, through a series of "games" played with their doctor, can take some control over the health service and fight the giants who threaten to destroy it.
Being able to laugh in the face of suffering should also mean being able to laugh in the face of adversity, and Dr Phil's mission is to show how this is possible.
Dr Phil Hammond: Games To Play With Your Doctor is at The Plough Arts Centre, Torrington on Saturday, September 14, 8pm. Tickets: £14 (full), £13 (concession), £12 (Plough supporter), £12 (NHS staff). Box office: 01805 624624, www.theplougharts centre.org.uk.