Skip To Content
Photo: Adam Swinbourn

Fringe Review: Dammit, Jim! I’m a Comedienne, Not a Doctor!

By David Currie on June 20, 2019

Dammit, Jim! I’m a Comedienne, Not a Doctor!
by Polly Esther (Pollywood Productions)
60 min / 14+ / Solo / Comedy / Sci-Fi

So I cried. I didn’t expect to cry in this show. I wasn’t emotionally prepared for what I was walking into; I could have never imagined that a show called Dammit Jim! I’m a Comedienne, Not a Doctor! would bring me to tears, lift me back up, and inspire me all the way out the door, but there you have it. That’s what this show did.

Polly Esther has a story to tell and she’s going to tell it. Over an hour, she will invite you into her struggles, her pain, and her perseverance. She will confess her alcoholism, walk you through her experience and her recovery. She will welcome you into her struggles with obsessive compulsive disorder, and her coping mechanisms. She will invite you to feel okay about yourself, and if you don’t, she will invite you to talk to her. It doesn’t have to be in person; she will give you a tea with her email and contact information and then she will send you on your way.

She will also talk about Star Trek.

I have no words to tell you how powerful this show is, even if you don’t like Star Trek or have never watched any of it.

Man, I can’t do this play justice. Polly Esther is doing the work. She is doing the work of healing, she is doing the work for theatre, and she is doing the work for her audience. I have no words to express how brave and heroic I think she is. I have no words to tell you how powerful this show is, even if you don’t like Star Trek or have never watched any of it.  This isn’t about Star Trek; this show is about how a person changed their mind and began the process of healing themselves. If this story was a movie, it would either be Oscar bait or an indie darling.

I have no idea why she decided to market this the way she did. It’s not really a Star Trek show. It’s not stand-up. But you know what? She can do whatever the hell she wants because her show is amazing and I admire her for it.

This show, with this title, is the show you should see. We all need emotional catharsis, and Dammit Jim! I’m a Comedienne, Not a Doctor! is your place to get it.


Dammit, Jim! I’m a Comedienne, Not a Doctor! by Polly Esther is playing at Studio 1201 (10 Daly Ave) until Saturday, June 22, 2019. Tickets cost $12 online (plus a $2 processing fee) and at the door. Visit ottawafringe.com for the schedule and box office info. Read more reviews at apt613.ca/fringe.


Advertisement: