EVERYTHING MARKED WITH: Packet Panda


Graeme Morrice August 12th, 2014 by

Full marks to Graeme Morrice for being rambling, irrelevant and slightly offensive in the opening paragraph of his Lucy Beaumont review. “It’s a balmy Thursday night and there’s a mixed crowd packed into one of the smaller Pleasance Courtyard venues. Something’s needed to take our minds off the heat and luckily there’s a slightly ditzy […]


Niki Boyle August 11th, 2014 by

Excuse me just a moment while I fact you with stats: so far this year Niki Boyle has reviewed eight shows, scattering so few stars between them that they average just above 2.6 apiece. This is slightly more than his average for 2012 (2.58), in which, of 17 shows, he only went as high as […]


Laura Ennor July 26th, 2014 by

I’m fairly sure there must be narrative accounts of the Rwandan genocide that are bubblier than Laura Ennor’s comedy reviews. I’m sure that some of the confessions extracted at Guantanamo read in a bouncier, more upbeat style. I’m not doing her down on skills; she is clearly a capable journalist who knows her mind. In […]


Malcolm Jack July 17th, 2014 by

Malcolm Jack isn’t impressed by much, and he wants us to know it. His adjectives all flow from the seen-it-all, done-it-all, yadda-yadda school of journalism.  Of Gemma Whelan’s Chastity Butterworth & The Spanish Hamster he writes that something like this turns up at the Fringe “pretty much every year in one form or another”. Gareth […]


George Howard July 17th, 2014 by

I don’t know what year George Howard thinks he’s living in, but he writes like it’s 1870 and he’s reviewing bawdy entertainment for the Cheeky Hellfire Club.  “I would not say that either are necessarily the most outstanding visual performers I have had the pleasure of watching, but this is made up for with oodles […]


Faith Ashleigh-Wong July 17th, 2014 by

Reading Faith Ashleigh-Wong’s reviews reminded this Panda of a writing style a world away from Fringe buffoonery. In short, Ashleigh-Wong writes like a restaurant reviewer. And not a shitty modern restaurant reviewer of the Giles Coren talk-about-anything-but-the-food type. No. This is like the restaurant reviews you get in the Telegraph, or Conde Nast. Check out […]


Joseph Trotter July 17th, 2014 by

Joseph Trotter has a breezy style that is often refreshing, like when he just says that something was “great fun” or “lovely stuff”, because it’s Three Weeks after all and there’s no room for essays. Sadly, he sometimes uses that breeziness to be evasive or a bit too clever. “Four names you may not yet […]


James Dolton July 17th, 2014 by

In his accompanying photograph James Dolton looks about 11, but don’t let this fool you. He writes with all the power and precision of someone three years older. In Broadway Baby terms, this makes Dolton an old man of letters, a veritable Venerable Bede. Of all the publications to take a butchers at Baconface (ie […]


Jack Skelton July 17th, 2014 by

Jack Skelton walks that strip of taught razor wire between being clever and being too clever. While most of his observations are well made and well expressed, he occasionally gets too caught up in his own hyperbole and talks about stand-up comedy as if it’s dissident Czech filmmaking or Brechtian theatre. Some of his sentences […]


Brian Logan July 17th, 2014 by

It is a curious thing that, while 95 per cent of stand-ups are on-message with the Guardian’s brand of sympathetic socialism, Brian Logan has little sympathy for stand-up. His reviews are grumpy, condescending and keen to make it clear that it is HIS time everyone is wasting. Sometimes his opinions are so bombastic that they’re […]


Bernard O’Leary July 17th, 2014 by

Bernard O’Leary is the main man at the Skinny, and it’s interesting to see how his approach differs from that of the other review grandees. For example, while Chortlemeister Steve Bennett was furious with Ellis and Rose’s Jimmy Savile: The Punch and Judy Show – pretty much accusing the hapless duo of wasting his precious […]


Alix White July 16th, 2014 by

Blimming hell and a half. I tell you what – if this Panda ever gets out of its packet and decides to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe, she hopes that Alix White comes to review her. White is ebullient in her admiration of almost everything she’s sent to see; to the point that you wonder […]


Alice Taylor July 16th, 2014 by

Alice Taylor is prone to rather vicious swipes. “If these fools had any sense they would abandon ship” she says of Ship Of Fools. Of Will and Stu she says: “Will resembled a loud children’s comedian and the quieter Stu hoped everyone would say ”Well done” at the end of his sketch;  if said it […]


Nicole Adam July 13th, 2014 by

In 2012 Nicole Adam committed the egregious reviewing sin of misunderstanding a show and then reviewing her own misunderstanding. She went to see The Room, a screening of the Tommy Wiseau film that is “the Citizen Kane of bad movies” where the audience shout and throw things at the screen, Rocky-Horror style, and enjoy how […]


Stewart McLaren July 13th, 2014 by

Stewart McLaren suggests that he has done a Film & Media Studies BA in the statement “this persistent post-modern breaking of the fourth wall completely breaks the flow to an unnecessary extent”. Whether or not it’s true, he certainly has all the hallmarks of a student amateur reviewer. There’s nothing particularly objectionable about his critiques, […]


Sarah Virgo July 13th, 2014 by

Sarah Virgo writes in rather disjointed sentences that don’t seem to have much in common with each other. For Darius Davies she writes: “His impersonations of his father were a strong point and use of personal experiences with things from drugs, games to ‘youths’ on the bus gave his show charm. Davies’ stand-up is entertaining […]


Sam Turner July 13th, 2014 by

Sam Turner only reviewed three things on the Fringe’s comedy roster for 2013, but he made a decent fist of it nonetheless. He’s not always crystal clear; for example he tells us that Adrienne Truscott “brings classics like the banana peel up to date in tremendous fashion while reinventing the art of projection comedy”. What’s […]


Rebecca Lunn July 13th, 2014 by

My esteemed editor Mister Kipper made the point, in his editorial to this site, that sometimes the holy land of comedy is just a sort of Amsterdam to reviewers. They arrive, they empty their angry balls and then they jet off back to their theatre and their cabaret and their wives and their children’s shows […]


Julian Joseph July 13th, 2014 by

Julian Joseph appears with a picture of himself in ‘thoughtful’ pose, as if contemplating the sheer difficulty of packing his genius into one 120-word review. One thing he hasn’t yet come to terms with is his strange habit of shrugging and fault-finding his way through a review and then, at the last gasp, relieving the […]


Stephanie Gray July 3rd, 2014 by

It would be a very rum thing for a reviewer-reviewer, having taken so many solemn oaths and sworn to uphold such sacred mysteries, to criticise a reviewer for being too easily pleased. Most of us agreed to review the reviewers because we were sick of all the grunting and groaning and cynicism. But Stephanie Gray […]