Stefania Licari: Medico

Stefania Licari
Underbelly, Bristo Square

Stefania Licari: Medico

If the long history of Adam Kay’s enduring popularity can attest to anything, it’s that there’s some serious depths of comedy that can be plumbed from being a doctor and a comedian. It’s into this zone that Stefania Licari, a practising anaesthetist and sometime actress, has stepped into with her show Medico.

Of course, while the medical profession has never been a breeze, Licari has the doubly confounding obstacles of being a foreign doctor working in the UK and having to put up with Brexit, racist patients, sexist doctors and a budding acting career.

It’s a nice idea, and genuinely there are some decent laughs to be found in this comedy set. Licari is a charismatic and friendly stand-up, and her natural charm does a lot to win over an audience. There’s also some great audience interaction, with some medically themed props, and a lot of jokes about penis sizes.

The trouble is, the material isn’t scorchingly new or clever, with a lot of the gags being rather tired, and some of them being let down by a faltering delivery. It’s unclear if the issue is with English being a second language or if Licari’s comedic timing is just off, but the punchlines are too often delivered clumsily and awkwardly leading to moments of the crowd laughing almost second hand as they finally click what the joke is meant to be, rather than it landing when it should. While this isn’t constant, it is a recurrent issue.

There’s also a strange moment where, apropos of nothing, she embarks on a story of a dying patient, which feels decidedly out of place. It’s touching, but strangely unearned, and feels like an addition because there ought to be a sad and serious bit somewhere, so let’s chuck one in.

Overall, the prognosis isn’t fatal, but this patient needs some remedial work if it’s going to improve.

Reviewer: Graeme Strachan

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