Mark ‘Divine’ Calvert (MUMBLE COMEDY)

I don’t know why this reviewer has awarded himself divinity.  Perhaps he bears a passing resemblance to John Waters’ favourite drag queen. Perhaps – even more than all the other reviewers – this one believes himself appointed to pass God’s infallible judgment upon Fringe entertainment.

Whatever the reason, it comes as a disappointment that his reviews are in no way transcendent. This is the chap who wrote the review of Adam Riches that so enraged the comedian’s PR company. In fact it was a three star review that read like a three star review. It IS, on the whole, a quite bad review, but not for any criticism of Riches.

“It was a damp and wind-swept night and the welcoming warmth of the Pleasance Dome began to relaxed [sic] me into a state of mind ready for comedy,” he begins, in the desperate sub-NME style of reviewer-on-a-quest hackery. “Tonight it was Adam Riches, a successful comedian with more awards that you can shake a stick at,” he says, being succinct but somewhat clichéd. “Adam humiliated his carefully chosen audience members who were middle class,” he asserts, with the assurance of Pol Pot condemning people with glasses.

Before you know it, his reviews are over. They are rarely much longer than a couple of tweets, and if I was Riches’ PR I’d be most annoyed at the amount of work he did in return for a ticket, irrespective of its quality.

Calvert doesn’t waste time with structured sentences although, to be fair, a lot of reviewers this year have decided that the laws of English can be abandoned as long as you’re discussing Tony Law. “Trombones! A Game of catch with a beach ball, His pet dogs both alive and the ones that have gone to puppy heaven. Love making etiquette and his psychic pooch featured heavily. Reminding me of a past Beau that had a Standard Poodle who shared our bed every time we got it on.” Ugh.

Calvert is either American or, just as likely, accepts WordPress’s spelling corrections without question. He also capitalises at random, adds exclamation marks with impunity, inserts odd word spacings and sticks in quote marks for no apparent reason whatsoever: “Divine Salutes You. For that really was a ‘Good Time!’ ” I’m Sure you’re ‘Very Welcome’, Mark!

Of course, I’m not even the first person to review him. Immediately beneath his review of Adam Riches is a note from the ‘CEO’ of Mumble Comedy who, if it isn’t Calvert, is someone operating under similar delusions of grandeur. The CEO of the Mumble media empire commends “Mark’s  gutsy, honest, & frankly quite entertaining review”. I looked for the review it refers to but couldn’t find it. Just a half-paragraph of vapid cack.

Michaela Plaidface

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