EVERYTHING MARKED WITH: 3 & 1/2 Stars


RM Ballantyne July 21st, 2014 by

We assume that this name is ersatz, since we are very clever here at Fringepig and I know that RM Ballantyne was a Scottish children’s author in Victorian times, who wrote such ripping yarns as The Coral Island, forerunner to the altogether more dystopian Lord of the Flies. Of course, I could be wrong. It […]


Pete Kelly July 21st, 2014 by

Of all the reviewers to get cross with Carl Hutchinson for having a show about nothing much, Pete Kelly gets the crossest. “There should be a Fringe award for flimsiest premise in a stand-up show,” he growls. “[His show] conforms to the current orthodoxy that an hour of stand-up must conclude with a trite moral […]


Nancy Napper-Canter saw two comedy shows in the 2013 Fringe, and gave them three stars between them. She was similarly ungenerous the year before, where she seemed to respond to a show called We Love Comedy with the riposte “Well I bloody don’t so piss off”. Not that she’s workshy: she takes 550 words to […]


Vonny Moyes July 17th, 2014 by

Vonny Moyes isn’t a bad reviewer. In fact she could be great. Reviewing is not, of course, anything that greatly adds to the canon of literature, but some of her passages really sing. Of the show Pick Me Up she writes: “One or two sketches feel just a touch unresolved, and a meandering narrative sometimes […]


Richard Speir July 17th, 2014 by

It’s never easy trying to reviewer a reviewer who has reviewed precisely one comedy show in their entire life. Apart from anything, a person should be allowed to try everything once, should they not? I would not dream of grading Liam Speir on his proclivities with one ladyboy or one hit of methamphetamine, or one […]


Madeleine Ash July 17th, 2014 by

I must say I was a little annoyed by Madeleine Ash complaining about “the endless stream of stand-ups that swarm the Fringe”. Do you hear comedians complaining about the ceaseless pimpled plague of reviewers? Yes you do, and small wonder. However, Ash won me over – for the most part – by being quite capable […]


Kyung Oh July 17th, 2014 by

“It’s a confusing thing, when someone you want to like tells you he’s a serial adulterer” says Kyung of Will Mars, seeming to commit the cardinal sin of letting pre-held scruples usurp his judgment. It’s forgivable, though, as Kyung’s reviewing style is for the most part well-reasoned and very clear. He’s even willing to give […]


Kayleigh Head July 17th, 2014 by

It’s hard to dislike Kayleigh Head’s reviews. They’re full of life and energy, and, you know… yoof. She seems to enjoy reviewing, and this shines through in her prose. She may occasionally get over-enthused and say something confusing. Catherine Semark, apparently, talks about “our international obsession with drawing the cock and balls symbol”. I think […]


Adam Harwood July 17th, 2014 by

Adam Harwood won’t use three words where six will do. For instance, he could have said: “Joe Fairbrother has a strong lunchtime show that involves his audience while keeping them relaxed”. Instead, he says “If a good, strong, lunchtime comedian is one who can involve many audience members in his show while keeping them feeling […]


Julia Chamberlain July 17th, 2014 by

Nobody can doubt Chamberlain’s devotion to comedy; her long service in some fairly tough jobs is testament to that. Neither has she ever flinched from her ideal of what comedy should be. Despite some people complaining (and with some justification, perhaps) that you can’t book acts and review them, Chamberlain is held in good affection […]


Andy Leask July 17th, 2014 by

I wasn’t sure what to make of Andy Leask. I was aware that he was wont to be rather cruel. Last year he dismissed some poor beginner in a free show as “a socially awkward, comically inept little man, who has inexplicably chosen to pursue a career in comedy, despite having no skill in the […]


Andrew Bell July 17th, 2014 by

Andrew Bell has an irritating habit of talking about things we have no idea about without bothering to expand on them. “the gloriously un-PC American God is the stand out moment” he says of Guilt and Shame, leaving it entirely at that. “The mind reading phone gimmick doesn’t really work”, he adds, later. Either explain […]


Clare Dolan July 17th, 2014 by

“Tears of laughter will merge with tears of fear,” says Clare Dolan about Dayne Rathbone. Tears of Fear? Has anyone ever cried such tears? It’s a shame, because this is the only silly thing Dolan says in her (admittedly not extensive) canon of five comedy reviews. In fact, her Rathbone review gave the best flavour […]


Jessie Maltin July 17th, 2014 by

Jessie Maltin’s reviews look odd on the page. It’s not her fault: Broadway Baby’s brand new layout puts the first paragraph of each review in a massive font size, with the subsequent ones much smaller, and – unlike her Hollywood film-reviewing namesake, Maltin tends to only write two paragraphs. Sometimes, though, less is more and […]


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 […]


Josephine Lane July 17th, 2014 by

Someone needs to buy Josephine Lane a thesaurus. Her sentences have a tendency to repeat words, and even phrases, to the extent that it becomes a bit jarring. A review of Andrew Maxwell had the word “audience” three times in one sentence. Still, at least she didn’t say “punters” or “bums on seats”. Similarly, she […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


Ben Williams July 16th, 2014 by

Ben Williams – young though he is – does not let youthful exuberance get the better of him. His reviews are sober, sensible and invariably clock in at just under 300 words. He gives a good taste of what he’s seen without banging the stuffing out of it. In short he’s a disciplined writer who […]