Laughing Gas

This is fun. It’s all about Victorian charlatans, medical malpractice and bodysnatching. Caroline Rance gives a talk based on her book The Quack Doctor, which catalogues hilarious, but horrifying stories about dodgy salesmen who preyed on credulous patients and hypochondriacs. You’ll learn a lot about, for example,  ‘Piss prophets’ and ‘worm doctors’.

Around these stories you get me, singing music hall songs on said subject. Of which there’s no shortage. Mary’s Ghost, for example, finds the victim of bodysnatchers returning to her loved one to haunt and taunt him about her missing parts. ‘As for my feet, the little feet, you used to call so pretty. There’s one, I know, in Bedford Row, the other’s in the city.’

The show debuted at the wonderful Old Operating Theatre Museum in London in April 2019.