Nathan Cassidy offers comedy fare that fits right in at the Fringe, a mixture of social observation, wordplay, ranting and anecdotal amusement. Depending on how you react to explicit language and David-Cameron-and-a-pig jokes at 7.45pm, feel free to add or subtract from the star rating.
There is good comedy here and it promises to be different every night.
What distinguishes Nathan’s show and redeems some of the rockier moments is the framework that he works with for it, which is concerned with—what else—the meaning of life (the universe, and everything). Within the material there’s scope for improvisation and some amusing segues as he tries to link the ten out of forty-two randomly chosen topics for the night into a coherent show. It also allows Nathan to indulge in some thoughtful moments on his quest to find the meaning of life (as well as the openly flippant or more abrasive, such as when we hear how doing stand-up comedy won’t make him happy. To give him credit, he does self-consciously point out that we may not want to hear that, but more charm is needed to change our opinion at times). It also allows a somewhat unconventional finale, where—if you can follow Nathan out of the crowded venue and along the street, which in our case was being deluged by the classic Edinburgh downpours—the meaning of life itself will be revealed to you.
This is improvised comedy, and as such it can have its ups and downs—my biggest criticism is that Nathan sticks to his material even when it’s not going down that well, when in-jokes or references aren’t being picked up on. On the other hand, quite a few jokes that began along the format of angry-ranting-man (not my favourite type of comedy) were redeemed by a bit of clever misdirection and trickery, which if Nathan could consistently pull off would definitely improve the show. There is good comedy here, though, and it promises to be different every night. As Nathan says, “Imagine all the infinite different shows there could be...”.