Pharmacist prescribes laughter as the best medicine at Fringe

Lubna Kerr balances her day job with one-woman show about 1960s migration from Pakistan.

Lubna Kerr may have come to the entertainment world later in life, but the actress and comedian is making the most of her second career at this year’s Fringe.

A clinical pharmacist with NHS Lothian by trade, Lubna is now balancing the day job with her one-woman show – called Tickbox – about migration from Pakistan to Glasgow in the 1960s.

She told STV entertainment show What’s On Scotland that laughter really is the best medicine.

“I have spent my life ticking boxes or being a tick-box for other people,” Lubna said. “So, I thought it was a really apt title to have for a play.

“Tickbox is a semi-autobiographical story about my parents’ journey from a very middle-class life in Pakistan.”

With the option to move to Australia, Lubna’s father instead decided to pick the Govan climate in Glasgow.

“My mum arrived on the plane wearing sandals even though they came here in December,” she said.

Comedy has always been a way for Lubna to connect with people, no matter how difficult the subject.

“Comedy was part of my upbringing, it’s always going to be in me, and I love to make people laugh because laughter is the best medicine,” she said.

“Talk about things like migration, talk about stress, talk about important things, but if you do it with a smile and a joke, the message lands.”

As one of the stars of Still Game at the Hydro in 2014, appearances in Scot Squad, Armchair Detectives, Two Doors Down and a show at this year’s Fringe, what can we expect next from Lubna Kerr?

“I’d love to take it [Tickbox] down to the West End,” she said. “I want to make it bigger, and I want there to be an immersive theatre, so when you come into the venue there’s Pakistani stalls. Somewhere you can taste the samosas and the pakoras.”

Lubna is performing at Summerhall until August 28. Catch-up with What’s On Scotland on the STV Player.

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