Back once again by popular demand for 2018, our Brighton Bites Q&As offer an, occasionally witty – often hilarious, insight into the acts donning their flip-flops and shades (or high-heels and lippy) to join the line-up of England’s largest arts festival, Brighton Fringe. With 2017 boasting almost 1000 events across 160+ venues and 2018 promising more than 300+ free events to widen access to performances, our Bites aim to give you a taste of what’s in store.
Here, Nathan Lang tells us about his show The Stuntman which he’ll be performing at The Warren: Theatre Box.
How would you describe your show in one sentence?
Surreal physical comedy show about the best stuntman in the world and how he triumphs over failure despite being a total idiot.
Why Brighton Fringe?
Brighton Fringe is my favourite arts festival. It has a beautiful balance of genres, and genders, and of genre-defying and gender-defying work. I come for gigs very often and my comedy duo Jon & Nath host a monthly sketch comedy night here, so Brighton is basically my second home. The local comedy community is so warm and supportive, I have lots of friends here now, like at least two.
How did the show get to where it is today?
The character came out of a Spymonkey clown workshop last year. Then I improvised a routine at my alternative comedy night Lost Cabaret in London – it got a lot of laughs so I figured I was onto something. Dan Lees devised the show with me; my wife Shelley directed me through Edinburgh; I workshopped with Brighton’s A&E Comedy (winners of last year’s Broadway Bobby ‘Best Show’ for Enter The Dragons), and I’m always incorporating feedback. Some changes have been huge: my initial aim was to do it entirely in mime, but after one Edinburgh performance culminated in a bunch of drunk Glaswegians chanting primal sound effects back at me for an hour, I decided to use my voice more, both for clarity and for self-defence. There is also plenty of space for spontaneity, so every show contains magical moments that will never be repeated.
What do you think sets your show apart from all the other festival offerings?
My costume is the tightest onesie on the Fringe. Also this is a story that has never been told before, and no story has ever been told the way this story has been told.
What’s the show that you don’t want to miss at this year’s Brighton Fringe (apart from your own!)?
I simply can’t miss Jon & Nath Like To Party (next show Sat 26 May, 9pm @ The Warren) because it’s a hardcore sketch comedy show and also I’m in it. If you watch The Stuntman – and you have any parenting standards – don’t go thinking you’ll bring your kids along to see Jon & Nath later. Although kids have laughed the loudest when we get ‘stuff’ all over our faces precisely because they don’t know what it is. (Disclaimer: We don’t know how those children got in.)
Otherwise, at this point in the Fringe you and I have both missed a lot of amazing shows. But we can still redeem ourselves by watching Hamlet? (three idiots attempt to do Shakespeare), Trishelle: Out of Order (amazing trashbag bouffon clown), Fabulon (bizarre Eastern European clown), Sex & Pugs & Rock & Roll (great stand-up trio), Rebekkah Turner: Rice Tits (mad genius), and Epicene (Paul Diello’s incredible versions of classic songs literally make my jaw drop every time).
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given, or would give, for performing at a fringe festival?
Limit yourself to two pints a day. Excellent advice, which I have never taken.
If your show was a piece of Brighton Rock, what word would run through it?
HotChocolateTime. This will make sense when you see the show.
The Stuntman runs at Brighton Fringe on 26 May 2018.
Nicole Craft | Image: John Mear