In 2011 when nurses and midwives took industrial action, registered nurse Zuleika Khan had a different response.
She created the hilarious and uplifting one-woman cabaret show Triage! A Nursing Cabaret to present true stories about what it’s like to be a nurse.
Set in the emergency department, with the audience as her patients, Khan uses songs and stories to humorously convey the difficulties of being a nurse.
“As they wait for that inevitable bed that is never in their grasp I just keep telling them stories and singing them songs,” she says. “Comedy opens many doors in someone’s heart and mind.”
The show features everything from old jazz classics to upbeat pop, including songs from Peggy Lee, The Eurythmics and Beyonce.
Growing up in a ‘medicine’ family, Khan says that most people who work in medicine have a warped sense of humour to cope with their jobs every day, and she wants to bring this to the stage.
“If you don’t laugh about what you’re doing it’s way too depressing,” she says. “I had to really lose myself before I become the triage diva that you see onstage, I went through a lot of crap, sometimes literally.” (SOC)
Sep 14-18, The Imperial Theatre, 35 Erskinville Rd, Erskinville, $28-35, sydneyfringe.com
BY SHAUNA O’CARROLL