Nathan Cassidy : Watch This. Love Me. Its Deep.
Aug 3-27 : C Cubed (13.45)
Script: Stagecraft: Performance:
Nathan Cassidy is an accomplished performer, an easy to laugh at comedian, with a slick demeanor & a stance like a matador. He began his journey to the stage writing plays with his grandfather twenty years ago, & after his great comedic odyssey, has drawn the circle to a close & returned to the art of drama. In this polite arena, no-one dare heckle, a state of play quite unlike the temple of Dionysis in Peisistratan Athens, where rotten fruit was flung at the actors for an equally as rotten line. No, this is British theatre, 2017, & when the sole actor has plugged into the intransigent flux of performance with such accomplished ability as Mr Cassidy does, then not a sound is to be heard – even when he prompts you to do so, so much had he woven us under his spell. Equally as hypnotizing was the way he tossed tarot cards onto the floor in a vague pattern as he proceeded through his tale – a subtle touch which shows you don’t have to go over the top with your stagecraft to create an excellent aesthetic & mood.
The story he tells is one of love, a paean as moving as Petrarch’s sonnets to Laura & Abelard’s letters to Heloise, but of course modernistic & prettified by Cassidy’s natural stand-up sensibilities. There was also the occasional semi-evangelical sermon on the life we should all be living tossed into the mix, which was done with vigour & ducal authority, encouraging us to push back boundaries & be the people we ought to be. Cassidy’s storytelling is reminiscent of a condensed volcanic eruption; there are tremblings, there is smoke, there is tension. Aye, I was thoroughly enjoying myself, for Nathan performs with confidence & genuine feeling, until we came, quite abruptly, to his ending. There was no volcano. It must have been dormant after all.
At first I was disappointed, but as I was making my way down the Royal Mile from the C Cubed venue, surrounded by flyerers & all sorts of Fringey nonsense, I found myself still deep in thought about Mr Cassidy’s ending. Five minutes later it was still clinging to my psyche like a stubborn flea… then it struck me, the sensations I immediately experienced & then continued to experience were intended, I believe, by Mr Cassidy; a shamanic act of some sorts which transcends the vast majority of theatre this day. Mr Cassidy’s play had bulldozed into the bubble of suspension of disbelief, sat upon the sofa in my mind, kicked its shoes off & started smoking a cigar. So, for those in love with love, Cassidy’s classy exultation may not be matched this year in any form.
Reviewer : Damo