Beth Cochrane (BROADWAY BABY)

In her accompanying photo, Beth Cochrane tries hard to look like Kathy Bates in Misery, but her reviews aren’t entirely horrifying.

They’re certainly considered, to the point that Cochrane sometimes seems to be taking 300 words to resolve her own feelings rather than just putting the results on the page. A lot of her sentences are unwieldy and poorly constructed, and bearing with them until the end is like watching a one-armed child build something complicated out of Lego. It’s all “I felt this, I wondered about that, I puzzled over this, I’m still going over that in my head”… writing a review often seems like a secondary concern to her sorting out her broader issues.

Occasionally it ends with something nice: Lloyd Griffith, she says, “has a voice that would delight choirs of angels and make flowers grow in winter.” Aw. She should have more confidence in her abilities and say more nice things like that.

She comes across as a bit of a prude, writing of Matt Rees “I did cringe a bit at some of his material though, it did push my boundary of what’s socially acceptable to talk about”, and she takes a star off Richard Gadd “simply for this shock factor”. Inexplicably she writes of Bob Slayer’s Midnight Mayhem bucket collection that “begging isn’t exactly an attractive quality”. If free show collections are to be classed as begging, then this has legal and moral ramifications that Cochrane should perhaps expand on.

Such comments add to her sense of Presbyterian other-worldliness: Cochrane seems to be someone who has lived a sheltered life and is still half inside the shelter. Wrapped in a duvet. Ready to burst into tears.

Mister Kipper

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