Nathan Cassidy: The Man in the Arena

Nathan Cassidy is pretty angry about a three star review he once received. He’s clearly not going to be happy about this one either. In a warm room above the Caroline of Brunswick 16 of us have spurned both the Champion’s League and Britain’s Got Talent Finals and I’m pretty sure most of us are wishing we’d stayed in front of the telly instead.

his delivery is far from enthusiastic, he seems to rail against this one bad review and after a while I found myself agreeing with the reviewer

The title refers to Theodore Roosevelt’s speech about the common man who strives valiantly, despite making mistakes, despite errors and shortcomings, who carries on with enthusiasm and determination. Cassidy’s set does have a clear arc and is well written with a structure that makes sense. But his delivery is far from enthusiastic, he seems to rail against this one bad review and after a while I found myself agreeing with the reviewer, rather than siding with Cassidy. Also it was a three star review. That’s good! I imagine I’ll be seeing myself as the focus of his next rant after this…

There are times when he slips into a parody of Stewart Lee and he then freely admits to steeling other, successful comedy acts and twice goes into a failed experiment of covering the wonderful Abandoman’s audience participation rap What’s in your pocket. Whilst I understand that this is supposed to go wrong and that Cassidy is parodying his failure to rap, I just didn’t understand why this was part of the show? Also when he asked his audience if they had heard of Abandoman only a few of us said yes, so I’m guessing the rest were pretty bewildered.

There are some well-constructed jokes and the audience smiles and titters throughout. He wants us to say he’s brave and better than Bill Hicks. That is not going to happen. Whilst it is brave to stand up in front of an audience and do stand up, he is definitely not better than the legendary Bill Hicks. Again, I appreciate this is part of the stand up routine and meant to be a joke. But it’s just not funny.

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The Blurb

Malcolm Hardee Award Nominee and Best Show Winner Buxton Fringe Nathan Cassidy explores bravery in a volatile world. Cassidy at his brave and honest best. No gimmicks, no f***ing about, no prisoners. "A great comedian" **** (Broadway Baby), "The audience loved it... one of the greats" **** (Mumble Comedy, Edinburgh 2016), "The entire second row is pissed... and there are only two rows" (Chortle). As Obama said after Trump’s victory, "We lick our wounds, we brush ourselves off, we get back in the arena." Get back in the arena with Nathan Cassidy!