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Nathan Cassidy: The Frog That Says Sausages

Thursday, 9 September, 2010

Edinburgh 2010– Just The Tonic at the Caves – 5-29 2010 – 17.20 (1.00)

Nathan Cassidy: The Frog That Says Sausages is a jaw dropping, eye brow raising, unforgettable evening.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t the good kind of unforgettable.  Not in the least.  Instead, the image of a man frantically, aggressively and obsessively trying to make a silent audience laugh as he slowly dies inside will forever be burnt into the memories of the brave men and women who sat their patiently and stood their ground as they waited until the bitter end.  Faces full of confusion and fear, praying that there was a point to it all, that their time, tolerance and strife was not in vain.

Alas, this story does not end happily.  It ends with heavy casualties to both sides. For the performer – he leaves with his dignity on the floor, torn and bloodied.  For the spectators – an hour apiece, never to be reclaimed again.

The setting for the show appeared appropriate.  For it takes place deep within the damp musty stone chambers which lie beneath South Bridge.  A sepulchre in its own right.  On stage sat nothing more than a white dry erase board on which was written ‘Things you must not joke about at the Royal Variety Performance.  1:  Josef Fritzl.’  Bad taste?  Perhaps.  But an appropriate beginning for a show which uses the tag line ‘Warning: Contains most offensive joke ever.’

It is an intriguing set up.  A show about preparing for an even bigger show of the Royal Variety kind.  Seeing as the Royal Variety is a ‘clean’ show, Nathan Cassidy uses this time to get all the filth and obscenities out of his system whilst attempting to find a style of comedy which will entertain everyone.  An impossible feat he concludes, but something he will still try and achieve ‘in his own way’.  A task and a belief which is hard not to have respect for – even if he appears to be failing miserably at it.

He began the show on a promising foot.  Jogging up to the stage from the back of the chamber wearing a comical Josef Fritzl beard as he sings a unique version of ‘Close Every Door To Me’ from the musical ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat’ which was received quite well.  Sadly the show hit its peaked with the first joke and only went down hill from there.  The rest of the show continued with a variety of ‘offensive’ stories about pedophiles, Thai lady boys, and Simon Weston.  All of which received nothing more than apologetic chuckles from the otherwise silent audience.  There was a particularly low point when Nathan tried to recreate a chase sequence with Benny Hill music.  He ran around the cave struggling to get people to join in as they all sat their motionless and painfully watched.

It all seemed relatively juvenile and poorly thought-out.  Even the joke everyone came to see, the gag which claimed to be the most offensive joke ever, was an absolute tragedy.  Not because it was so unbearably offensive, but because it was so childish and overtly un-clever that every year eight school bully could have thought of it.  A simple, straightforward joke which did nothing but combined racism with pedophilia.

Nathan Cassidy set out to make a point.  What that point is no one knows or even really cares. It’s just unfortunate that he had to go about it in an extremely unentertaining way.  One can only assume however that he will continue his quest, as the rest of us go on to better things.  You can only go up from here.

Cast Credits: Nathan Cassidy

Company Credits: Writer – Nathan Cassidy. Director – uncredited. Lighting Designer – uncredited. Sound Designer – uncredited. Technical Operator – uncredited. Producer – uncredited. Company – Rat Pack Productions

(c) Carl Livesay 2010

reviewed Saturday 28 August 2010

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