EVERYTHING MARKED WITH: 2 Stars


Jane Beeston August 20th, 2018 by

“Words, words, words – Jane has always been obsessed with them, those written, spoken and performed!” So begins Jane Beeston’s BB Biog. And she’s not wrong. She does like her words. She likes them so much that often she cannot decide which of them to invite round to her paragraph and so has all of […]


George Sully August 18th, 2018 by

I’m confused. George Sully is a ‘director’ of Fest, whatever that means, and has also written extensively for the Skinny. He has written overarching trend pieces and the occasional movie review, but never before has he dirtied the rarefied flesh of his lilywhites with Fringe comedy. Until this year. For some reason George Sully felt […]


John Gibson August 16th, 2018 by

Imagine being a reviewer and watching a show predicated upon (for the first half at least) a cuddly bear. Imagine taking so little interest in what you’re watching that you thought the bear was a monkey. I mean, you saw it in the Monkey Barrel after all; it ought to have been a monkey. It’s […]


Brett Mills August 13th, 2018 by

Brett Mills is a virtual pick ‘n’ Mix of allusions and metaphors which, like the ones we used to get at Woolworth’s, could be delightful. But inevitably, like Woolworths, it ends up rather bankrupt. Russell Hicks “flips between insult and concern”…which “never hits the heights”, “because he doesn’t give punters enough rope to hang themselves”, […]


Eva Hibbs August 8th, 2017 by

We were beginning to think that the art of the reviewer brainfart was passed, so thank all that’s holy for Eva Hibbs. Her small stack of reviews so far provide some of the most perplexing and intractable sentences yet committed to the canon. Hibbs has reviewed some shows with very out-there conceits, which in itself […]


Mark Parker August 22nd, 2016 by

As ever when venturing into the undergrowth of Mumbledonia, we have to ask ourselves “Is this a real person, or just another one of Mark ‘Divine’ Calvert’s aliases?” Not that MDC actually exists either. But there is a person, somewhere, at the website that calls itself Mumble Comedy, because there isn’t yet a computer program […]


Simon Fearn August 16th, 2016 by

Reading a Simon Fearn review puts one in mind of one of those QVC infomercials where they have 20 minutes to fill and only a set of Tupperware beakers to talk about. Fearn covers every angle, in the most plodding way, almost as if he’s got one eye on the word count to see if […]


Dave Coates August 28th, 2015 by

Dave Coates is one of those reviewers who, like a teacher at a long-established school, wants everyone to try their best. And he wants them to be cheerful about it.Jack Barry, for example, “seems self-aware enough that his mis-steps suggest a performer in the middle of a promising learning process”. Coates could have added “Will […]


Nick Awde August 26th, 2015 by

Nick Awde has been around since gaslighting, writing about theatre and working on a string of large stage productions, some of them at the Fringe. This pedigree may explain the aloofness with which he told Phil Ellis’s Funz and Gamez Tooz to fuck off: “Guys, you got last year’s award because you were an in-joke […]


Sarah Gough August 24th, 2015 by

I’m sure that, if I could get over the pony club tone to Sarah Gough’s reviews, I’d find her to be a perfectly adequate reviewer. So I’m going to say that she’s a perfectly adequate reviewer. I’m sure the non-ironic and shameless use of the phrase “cheeky chappy” to describe Rhys Nicholson is annoying only […]


Dawn Kofie August 9th, 2015 by

There is the occasional nice bit of phrasing in Dawn Kofie’s reviews. They occur when she is just saying what she sees. Stuff like “there’s a weirdly lyrical description of [Rob Delaney] taking a Peeping Tom role when his friend’s neighbour has an S&M party.” This, at least, makes me want to see Delaney’s show. […]


Graeme Connelly August 25th, 2014 by

Graeme Connelly doesn’t really know what sentences are supposed to do. Every time he begins one he has no idea where it will end, or what he wants it to achieve. Most of the time he ends it prematurely, as if suddenly aborting its mission. Sometimes four or five sentences are sent out in succession, […]


Alice Jones August 19th, 2014 by

There’s something about Alice Jones that I don’t quite trust. And I dislike my own distrust, because Jones writes very well. At least, she’s the sort of writer you want if you need an eloquent hagiography knocking up. Because when she likes something, she worships at its feet. And when she hates something, she wants […]


Okay, so that’s not his real surname. It’s not even an official nom de plume.We don’t know what his real surname is. He won’t tell us. Or maybe it’s Geoff the One4Review editor who won’t tell us. Maybe Geoff doesn’t want him getting ideas beyond his station. Geoff (Evans) himself is just ‘Geoff’ most of […]


Peter Edwards July 26th, 2014 by

So few reviewers these days write reviews that are, consistently, just the right length. Peter Edwards is one of the select group that does. If this is damning him with faint praise, I would add that he is also very capable. His reviews are concise, descriptive and… frank. Very, very frank. He is very harsh […]


Carrie Gooch July 21st, 2014 by

Carrie Gooch seems unwilling to come to terms with the fact that she has accepted the role of critic, and so must hit us with her unmitigated opinions, and pass off these opinions as objective truth. It’s a great responsibility: too much, arguably, for a mere mortal – and yet that is what the job […]


Gavin Leech July 17th, 2014 by

Gavin Leech is a theatre reviewer who only drifts into a comedy show once per Fringe, it seems. In 2013 he reviewed Jim Higo’s Free Fringe show That’s Not How You Spell Pedantic, and back in 2011 he had a look at Kev Orkian. “Punk poet and grammar-nazi Jim Higo has a list of language […]


James Hampson July 17th, 2014 by

If you can imagine the art of performing comedy as something akin to spreading silage on stage, then you’ll understand the default position of James Hampson – he’s at the back of the room in a protective mac and gaiters, grimacing, with a peg on his nose. Reviewing’s a dirty job, but someone’s (apparently) got […]


“It certainly does pay tribute to Richard Herring’s comic abilities that the audience was able to leave the theatre feeling strangely uplifted, especially when considering the show’s subject matter.” Did that sentence hurt your eyes? Welcome to the reviewing world of Robert McGowan Stuart, a chap who never writes more than 120 words, 100 of […]


Si Hawkins July 17th, 2014 by

Hawkins is a great fan of the words ‘hackneyed’, ‘indulgent’, ‘boring’ and the phrases ‘goes on too long’ and ‘this is hardly new’. Do people not realise that he has somewhere important to be, like another show he can’t be arsed to sit through? His prose is noisy with the sound of eyeballs being rolled […]