EVERYTHING MARKED WITH: 1 Star


Laura Pujos August 26th, 2017 by

Nobody could accuse Pujos of being dismissive about what she sees. Bloody hell no. She attends comedy shows as if she’s been asked to take notes for a Hague War Crimes tribunal; presenting each point before cross-examining it and (usually) finding it guilty of something. This jurisprudence is not in the service of seeing both […]


Nina Keen August 15th, 2016 by

Is the world just wrong? Or is Nina Keen just wrong? Because one of the two MUST be wrong. Nina Keen is not averse to the reviewer-speak standby of saying that a thing does or doesn’t “live up to its title”. So excuse me for saying that, whether she is wrong or not, Nina Keen […]


Izzie Fernandes August 21st, 2015 by

I don’t know how YOU review Fringe reviewers, but I do it like this: I make a document of all their reviews so far and go through it with a highlighter: yellow for things I would question, red for bits that I like. But the reviews of Izzie Fernandes were so streaked with yellow you […]


Ben Shannon August 12th, 2015 by

Ben Shannon is a likeable presence whose relaxed hand on the tiller eases the audience into the situation, combining a light-hearted patter and confidence beyond his years. Don’t take my word for it, though. Because those were not my words. They were a reviewer’s words, back when Shannon was in Three Men and a Saucepan […]


Louise Mason August 11th, 2015 by

Oh Mumble Comedy, must we play this game again? Oh fine. Here we go then. Louise Mason is a real person who actually went to review things. The fact that she writes exactly like all the other Mumble Comedy reviewers, who in turn write exactly like Damo Bullen (and we know he exists because he […]


Charlotte Ivers August 13th, 2014 by

There was a point in Charlotte Ivers’ review of Mark Nelson where I wanted to invent the game Reviewer Bingo, in which the cards would have stock reviewing phrases instead of numbers. “His delivery is confident and relaxed…” (Yes!) “Controversial enough to keep things interesting, but never oversteps the mark….” (Yes!) “His social observations are […]


Tony Challis August 7th, 2014 by

Tony Challis is so terrible at what he does that his reviews must be interpreted a line at a time, sort of like the lethal Monty Python joke. I will attempt it now with his review of Alasdair Tremblay-Birchall’s Alasdair Lists Everything, but be warned: this is weapon-strength stuff. “Alasdair has a show which does […]


Dan Lentell August 3rd, 2014 by

Dan Lentell has several obstacles to overcome if he wants to be taken seriously as a reviewer. First he must differentiate clearly between his objective description of the event he’s watching and the nebulous PR-spracht of the performer’s flyer. Or maybe it’s just what tumbled, unsorted, from Lentell’s head. In any case, paragraphs like this […]


Tom Moyser July 17th, 2014 by

“I went into the theatre thinking that assisted suicide was a sad but sometimes necessary thing, and I left thinking just that, having learnt very little”. Thus Tom Moyser admonishes Chris Larner, explaining that he had to remove a star from the true monodrama of his terminally ill wife, because he didn’t learn that lethal […]


Signe Madara July 17th, 2014 by

Business Leopard is reviewing Signe Madara not because it will serve the public good, or alert people of any danger, or recommend him to the pantheon of journalism. Business Leopard is reviewing him solely in the interests of completism; because his editor Mister Kipper has demanded that we leave no stone unturned nor one reviewer […]


Shiv Das July 17th, 2014 by

Oh for fuck’s fucking sake. Shiv Das gives five stars to almost everything. While it’s all well and good to enjoy your job, a good review doesn’t mean that the reviewer can just cut and paste the PR spiel, or excuse themselves from the niceties of critical analysis, punctuation and grammar. I’m sure no act […]


Polly Davidson July 17th, 2014 by

When Polly Davidson says that “At least [Tony Law] is definitely funny”, she pays him scant credit. This is the only thing she is certain of in the entire review, and even then she keeps it until the end. His comedy is “all over the place”, she reports, wielding critical insight with all the dextrous […]


Lily Blacksell July 17th, 2014 by

It’s always difficult reviewing reviewers who are bed-and-breakfasting in comedy when it’s clearly not their specialism. Blacksell spent the 2013 Fringe reviewing music, but then reviewed one comedy show – Alistair McGowan. Why? Because “back in the day, Alistair McGowan’s Big Impression was a firm family favourite in our house”. Right then. So I expect […]


Heather Bagnall July 17th, 2014 by

Reviewing the Best of Edinburgh Showcase Show, Bagnall begins: “Much like Arthur’s Seat is the bedrock of Edinburgh, comedy is the bedrock of the Edinburgh Fringe”. Well, Arthur’s Seat is a volcanic outcrop; one that is largely devoid of topsoil and has been subject to a great deal of erosion and vertical fracture. Bedrock is […]


Becca Gill July 17th, 2014 by

Becca Gill wrote only one review for Gigglebeats this year, choosing a PBH Free Fringe Show at Cabaret Voltaire. Fringe Pig is always somewhat suspicious of these one-off reviewers as their solo offerings are usually acts of arrant vandalism or unmitigated praise for a mate. And we’re not saying that’s what this is, but it IS […]


Andrew Currums July 15th, 2014 by

Andrew Currums is a difficult reviewer to assess. While a great many of his conclusions seem wrong to anyone of normal intelligence, they do follow an internal logic that makes sense in itself. For instance, he complains that Vladimir McTavish and Keir McAllister’s Look At The State Of Scotland (I’m going back to 2012 here […]