This is a review from the 2018 season. This show is returning in 2019.
Dr Ahmed Kazmi delivered a fine performance at The Gold Digger at FRINGE Central last night. Last year he sold out two runs of his show in the Comedy category of FRINGE WORLD. This year his show is in the Cabaret category of FRINGE WORLD and the emphasis is much more on singing.
He started with a few slides of his early life and his training to become a doctor. This led to his first musical number, “Finally a Doctor,” about graduating. This friendly entertainer included plenty of audience participation in the performance. There were quite a few medical professionals in the audience, including one brave soul who admitted to being a dentist.
There was a fair amount of stand-up, including an observation on how many casualties in the Accident and Emergency ward are related to alcohol. Dr Ahmed then gave us a message about alcohol abuse and what interventions are available – an issue that this GP clearly cares about. But he administered this medicine in a big draught of humour. It segued into a fictionalised patient in the A&E ward singing Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab.”
Dr Ahmed has a strong, pleasant baritone. It is at its best when he’s singing his (presumably) original songs, such as “I love being a GP.” He was slightly out of his range on “9 to 5,” but perhaps that was because the sound was a bit muffled in that smallish theatre crammed with bodies.
The most successful numbers were familiar modern show tunes. Not to give too much away, but there were hilarious numbers from “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” (including a demonstration of CPR) and “Little Shop of Horrors” (hence the dentists jokes).
The segment about the response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy, both from the medicos and the general public, was serious; but the good doctor brought us an upbeat message. “If we can give that much support and compassion for each other in such a dire situation, can’t we do that in our day-to-day lives?”
Toward the end of the show, he explicitly prescribed his “take-away.” “Do whatever you do in life that makes you happy. Do it now. Life is short.” Trust him on that last bit; he’s a doctor. “Non Je ne Regrette Rien” by Edith Piaf fit perfectly here.
He ended the show with a dance routine involving elements of disco, Bollywood, and most notably twerking. This warm, funny man shares his personal and professional insights with humour and musical talent. Dr Ahmed will have you in stitches, if you are lucky enough to get tickets to his mostly-sold-out run!