Full time doctor, part-time comedian, Michael Akadiri is making his full fringe debut with No Scrubs – an hour of both serious and light-hearted laughter from the rising stand up.
Michael Akadiri has two careers. I can’t attest to what he’s like as a doctor, but it turns out he’s a very funny man. It sounds obvious, but Akadiri’s natural charisma and humour is the crux of what makes No Scrubs worth seeing. It’s not the most inventive or boundary-pushing Fringe debut, but it doesn’t try to be, and that Akadiri can rely so heavily on himself to make the jokes stick, bodes very well for his future.
He’s obviously not the first doctor turned comedian, but Akadiri’s performance doesn’t make use of the same tired tropes. Not just because it’s been built over the pandemic and references the unique challenges the NHS faced – and the peculiar way they were celebrated – but because Akadiri reinforces just how normal doctors are. This is not a doctor putting on an act, nor a man dressed up as a doctor, but a doctor being himself and in his case that alone is enough to be incredibly amusing.
🎉 EDINBURGH POSTER DROP 🎉
Look how good they made me look 😍
Just under two months till we get under way, a few previews before Ed if you want a sneak peek!
📸 Garry Carbon
— See Michael ‘No Scrubs’ Akadiri @ Ed Fringe! (@MichaelAkadiri) June 7, 2022
There’s room for both the silly and serious sides of Akadiri’s life in No Scrubs, as he successfully incorporates the absurd with the political and the medical. From bedroom shenanigans, to repercussions for his professional decisions, to the differing perceptions of being a black man in London, nothing really seems off limits.
Despite his relative inexperience, having only even started doing stand up in 2017, Akadiri is relaxed on stage. You get the impression that he, too, is enjoying the stage, and while of course No Scrubs is a performance, he’s so at ease that it doesn’t feel a million miles away from a conversation.
He is ready to poke fun at himself, his Nigerian family, the extent of political correctness and dodgy, or just plain unqualified, doctors. None of it ever feels too heavy. That he can tackle these topics and it not seem burdensome is impressive.
An hour is a long time and it seems that some parts of No Scrubs are slightly pieced together. Writing a coherent show is difficult, and ultimately, you feel, Michael Akadiri the comedian just wants to make people laugh. In No Scrubs, he succeeds, while also showing potential for a lot more.