The Fringe would not be the same without the mercurial genius of Nathan Cassidy – thank the stars he’ll be back in Edinburgh this August…
Hi Nathan, how has your 2018 been so far?
Nathan: It started badly. I had the Australian flu at New Year. Brutal. It’s called the Australian Flu as a kangaroo comes into your house and kicks you in the balls, rips open your throat and then shits on all your food. And it keeps kicking and shitting for seven whole days. About three days in, you start to think, I’ve achieved enough I think, I could die now. Sadly I got better, but it’s been a good year since then. Lots of live and bits of TV stuff, and best of all I haven’t had a single cold or sore throat… can’t wait for Edinburgh.
You’re coming back to perform in Edinburgh this August, & have been doing so every year since 2010? How have you changed as a performer in that time?
Nathan: I don’t think I’ve changed too much in style since 2010, I’ve just got more and better things to say. Mumble gave me a review in 2017 which said, very kindly, that my show ‘goes deeper than just having a laugh’. That’s exactly what I’m trying to go for, to create experiences and hit people in unexpected places. I’m really excited about this show from that perspective, it’s absolutely my most personal show to date but at the same time tells a story that affects us all.
What are the processes behind the creation of one of your shows, from inception to hatching?
Nathan: I like to have an idea around this time of year for the following year, so I can start creating the material over the next six months in new material nights, I do a regular one in London on Mondays where you hear it all first. I’ve got my idea for next year, and the only danger of that is you put too much focus on the following year too early. It’s a very very very good idea though!! I’m going to take it on a bit of a World Tour, New Zealand and America.
Last year you did two shows, a comedy called The Man In The Arena, & a touching piece of drama called Watch This. Love Me. Its Deep. How did you find doubling up?
Nathan: It was great, I like being busy, until I slipped off a stage just before the final week and ended up in A and E. The stage was pretty high, at least four inches. As you know I’m only mid to late twenties but I must be getting old. I had a full on spasm in front of the audience and went straight to hospital. I was given Diazepam – absolutely the best experience in Edinburgh I’ve ever had.
What have you got for us this year?
Nathan: So yes, as I say, my most personal show to date tells the story of my time in Banking. I worked in Banking in 2008 and I’m lifting the lid on the scandal that lead up to the Financial Crash that continues to cost us all money today. I’ll be telling stories of criminal negligence, fabrication of entire projects, and the notorious ‘sex room’ in one of the flagship offices in one of the world’s biggest Banks. And how one decision I took set the terrible chain of events in motion. But the show is called ‘if I caused the financial crash of 2008’. Maybe it’s all made up. Come and decide for yourself! Oh and ps I’m also presenting an amazing show on the 23rd August which has on the bill almost all of the past Edinburgh Comedy Award Winners! Look it up, it’s the Perry Air Awards.
Doing a bit of detective work, it seems like you became a comedian not long after the Financial Crash – are the two connected?
Nathan: Let’s just say I had time on my hands after the Financial Crash of 2008, so yes I started back in comedy in 2009 after a brief dip into the circuit around the turn of the Millennium. I need something to fill a void inside of me, before stand-up it was gambling, gambling with my own and other people’s money. I think this is a slightly healthier thing to do, gambling every night with my professional future. Stand-up is like a Vegas Casino – you know there’s an exit somewhere, you just can’t see it.
You’ve got 20 seconds to sell the show to somebody in the street, what would you say?
Nathan: This is hard-hitting stand-up comedy in an explosive, whistle-blowing and absolutely true story of the scandal that is the British Financial system and how I caused the crash of 2008… and I’ve won awards, and Mumble gave me 4 stars last year.
Aha! An extremely wise fellow I see. So, what advice could you give to somebody performing at the Fringe for the first time?
Nathan: There are thousands of shows in your section of the brochure, but yours CAN be the one that everyone wants to see. It just has to be very, very good, and different. Be ambitious, aim for the top and listen and take on board the advice from people that have done it for years. Oh, and one more thing. Don’t pretend to be dead lying legs apart the Royal Mile. Because people won’t think you’re dead, they will just want you to be.
What will you be doing after the Fringe?
Nathan: I’m going to go on holiday. Last year I went to… Scotland. Forgive me, but I’m heading somewhere warmer this year, with the flu.
Photography: Andy Hollingworth