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 might think they had jaundice.
Well, I say ‘reviews’ because we generally wait until we have two or three in order to get a sense of the reviewer’s style. But the one attempt so far by Fernandes is such a catastrophe that we thought we should attend to it immediately and mop it up like a breakage in the booze aisle, before something terrible happens.
Fernandes’ writing style, if that is what we’ll call it, consists of a stream of non-sequiturs linked with the Pritt Stick of some unfathomable idea. Adjectives are given jobs they don’t know how to do and nouns wander aimlessly around her prose as if looking for the exit. Paragraph breaks occur seemingly at random and could really be put anywhere; even the middle of a sentence would work as well. Flights of fancy stay airborne for about as long as a fat chicken can.
Some ludicrously of pantomime and simultaneously explicit content pervaded Ewins’ energetic performance. With raisins aptly revealed as the MILF’s of the grape world, there were some laughable gems. Ewins surpassed his own expectations and transformed a relatively inauthentic narrative into something more consistently comic and crowd-pleasing. His suggestion that he was merely ‘playing guess who with his career’ was unnecessarily harsh and if you have a spare evening and want to rest your legs in front of some lighthearted comedy with a beer or two, take Ewins up on the offer to let him share his Day Job with you.
If you imagine pooing your pants five times and then sitting down in it, that’s the sort of compacted mess we’re talking about here. The only thing you can learn about the comedy of Mat Ewins from this review is that it left Izzie Fernandes with thoughts she struggled to express. Especially when she writes things like: “Ewins delivered the set with an ease of performance allegedly more inappropriate than a time he performed a kid’s show with a boner”. How can an ease of performance be inappropriate? We need a noun to attach a value to. Especially when we’re talking about boners.
His own spiel about a pie factory (a favourite joke for what his website terms this ‘very hungry comedian’) was interrupted by his exclaiming “fucking hell I need to stop ad libbing”. Such casual interjection gave the stand up a fresh, rustic feel.
Gave it a frigging what, now?
Fernandes is done no favours by Edfringe Review’s practice of running a second review alongside the first, to give a second opinion. In this case you’re scanning the other one desperate for some clarity or pointers.
I could go on and on, but it’s really a bit too depressing. Fernandes wonders whether Matt Ewins’ Day Job really is his day job, but this certainly shouldn’t be hers. If English is her third language then I’m deeply sorry and I commend her to keep grappling with our difficult mother tongue. If it’s her second then she should maybe get some more lessons before carrying on. And if it’s her first then her school needs to be bulldozed as a matter of national urgency.