Izaak Lim claims to be a “legitimate medical doctor in his spare time”, that is when he’s not writing and performing in cabarets, comedy, improvisation, storytelling and theatre. My companion called his show a “humble brag”, and it probably is, but with qualifications, credentials, personality and looks like Lim has, he’s more entitled to a “shout it from the rooftops brag”. But that’s not his style.
One of Lim’s noticeable skills in delivery is keeping it classy. He’ll set a moment up that’s a little bit politically incorrect, and then without a facial expression or a gesture to clarify his point, he will pause and just let our minds take us there. This technique is just as (if not more) hilarious and also keeps his reputation as clean as he likes to keep his freshly sterilised hands.
Lim certainly doesn’t fall into the stereotype of the doctor who has all the book smarts and no people skills. From the first moment when he poked his head out of the door at the rear of the stage in Lazy Susan’s Comedy Lounge and gave us a tentative but cheeky grin, he had the audience on side. With his charming, classic good looks and his charismatic poise, Lim went on to punctuate each tale of his story with a meaningful song.
The music was from the classics, musicals and Disney with lyrics adapted to suit the storytelling. Lim has a strong, rich voice with a wobble reminiscent of one of my other favourite cabaret acts this year, Cougar Morrison. Lim's presentation of the songs was noticeably better than many I have seen this year. While many struggle with an awkward stance or clumsy choreography while they sing, Lim managed to find the right meaningful gesture for each phrase so that it contributed to our understanding and interpretation of the song, without distracting. A true professional.
The stories he told are about awkward moments, like his first vaginal exam or dating a colleague he found on Tinder, life-changing moments when he delivered his first baby, and the truly heart breaking moment when he witnessed his first death.
Lim paced the show beautifully. He knew how to perfectly time each phrase, each sip of water, each gesture and each punchline as if he were sensing the breathing of the audience. I suspect that Izaak Lim makes as intuitive, sensitive and generous a doctor as he does a performing artist, which is a boon for the medical professional.
Lochlan Brown, dressed in dark blue scrubs, accompanied Lim on the keyboard with great concentration and finesse, but didn’t play into the action at all.
The season sold out quickly but I encourage you to check out Izaak Lim when he performs at The Big Hoo-Ha or Barefaced Stories.
Counter Productions present
Venue: Lazy Susan's Comedy Den | 292 Beaufort Street, Perth , WA
Dates: February 11 – 14, 2015