Here's what we think about...The Publications

These are the rags that we investigate for our reviewer-reviews...

Broadway Baby

Our previous appraisal of Broadway Baby was, perhaps, not very kind. Edmund Rumania wrote that it ought to be called Backstreet Abortion and that it “employs the sort of people who would toss off a Doberman for a free pass to a dog fight”. It used to publish the sort of review where… well, see […]


Chortle is the brainchild of Steve Bennett, who is at heart a decent sort of fanboy with the air of a Dickensian accountant. Despite going to Oxford University, Steve “Micawber” Bennett still cannot spell very well. He has yet to write a single review that makes cognitive sense from start to finish. He has hung […]

Edfringe Review

“But we’ve already had FringeReview in!” says the frazzled comedian in the middle of Week Two. “No, this is Edfringe Review. It’s different. It has a space between ‘fringe’ and ‘review’, and an ‘Ed’ on the front.” “Pig’s tits! Oh well, at least it’s only one ticket I can’t sell.” “Actually they’ve asked for two, […]

Edinburgh Evening News

The Edinburgh Evening News works on the same journalistic principles as the Tolpuddle Examiner, or the Stoneygate Herald, or the Stirling Observer, or the Isle of Wight Witchfinder-Mercury. It’s a local paper concerned with the minutiae of ordinary people facing everyday annoyances. Mrs McGovern was sent an electricity bill for a billion pounds. Mr McGlaschen […]

Evening Standard

Ah, the Evening Standard. In the early nineties it was making a fortune as Londoners snapped it up on their way home. How we capitalites chuckled to ourselves as Victor Lewis-Smith told us how crap last night’s television was. Ah, Victor, we thought. You’re just like us. Witty, metropolitan, urbane, sarcastic and a bit of […]


Fest is, of course, a short form of its original title, Festering Hatred. Drama undergrad kicked off your course? Write for Fest. Failed comedian? Write for Fest. Heriot Watt student who can’t go home for the holidays because your parents fucking hate you? Write for Fest. Unlike most other publications that clutter the Fringe, Fest […]

Fringe Guru

We took a while to acknowledge the existence of Fringe Guru. Sorry. It’s not that we don’t like it; in some ways it’s rather good. It’s just that it is mainly concerned with theatre, which is out of our orbit. And we sort of thought it wasn’t working this year. Call us thick but we […]


Fringebiscuit certainly takes the Vienna whirl for chutzpah. In 2013 they didn’t review anything, instead putting up a notice that said, clearly hoping for a last-second reprieve, “Unfortunately we couldn’t secure free accommodation for our writers”. Awwww no! Disaster! Clearly free entry to everything at the world’s largest arts festival is just NOT good enough. […]


FringeReview is a rather different kettle of review badgers, since (as of last year) it eschewed the punitive use of stars. It runs on a ‘recommendations-only’ basis; if their reviewer really hates your show, they simply don’t report on it, but will tell you, on the quiet, that it was shite (well, they word it […]


Although ten people are listed as Gigglebeats’ editorial team, only one of them, John-Paul Stephenson, seemed to make it to the Fringe in 2013. This is a shame, as last year the publication calling itself “The Independent Northern Comedy Guide” promised to bring a different eye to a festival that sometimes seems like a hellish […]


Hairline, like Fringebiscuit, took a gap year for Fringe 2013 but has promised (threatened?) to return for 2014. Of all the stuff stuck on a poster or stapled to a flyer, nothing makes passers-by say “Who the fuck are they?” like Hairline. In order to get itself out there, Hairline gives out mostly fours and […]

i News

Chances are, by the time I’ve finished typing this, the i, or iNews, or iPaper, or The i Newspaper (or however it’s finessing itself these days) will be no more. As you may remember, the Independent newspaper (back when it was a newspaper) decided in 2010 to deal with its tailspinning sales figures by launching a […]

London Is Funny

The London is Funny website, with its trademark jolly Coldstream guard, is a sort of capital-only Chortle without the grumpy attitude. It devotes a section to the Fringe called, unsurprisingly, Edinburgh is Funny. Actually it’s less comprehensive than Chortle, in that it only lists comedy nights it recommends, which is a bit of a blow […]

Mumble Comedy

Three years ago a little-known and ill-regarded WordPress blog site managed to get taken seriously as a Fringe review site, and since then we’ve all been forced to take it semi-seriously. It’s all the fault of one Dan Pursey at a PR company called Mobius, which in 2014 demanded that the Mumble website amend or […]


About 10 years ago, One4Review managed to get itself onto the posters of needy comedians by giving them all 5 stars, sometimes just for turning up and grasping the microphone. After a couple of years of this quantitative easing the bottom fell out the approval market, and today a One4Review endorsement is about as sought-after […]


Isn’t ‘Scot’ a great word? You can put it in front of anything. Scotrail, ScotVec, Scot… er… land. If only those of us from the South were the Engls, we could similarly tag everything that strays into our demsne. So ScotsGay and it’s festival freebie, SGFringe, occupies the niche of supporting anything that is both Scottish […]

Shortcom was set up to encourage and gather short comedy films from enthusiastic amateurs and screen them for appreciative audiences. In the process it hopes to raise money for suicide and mental health charities. So far so splendid. When we first looked at Shortcom in 2013, the reviews were very much bolted onto the side […]

The Arts Desk

The Arts Desk is a small website with ideas of world domination. It has properly-trained critics. It has departments, and people heading up those departments, like newspapers used to have before they slashed and amalgamated themselves to near-extinction. Arts Desk asks for money at the bottom of its articles so that it can keep publishing, […]

The Guardian

You would expect a newspaper as up with the liberal arts as The Guardian to have a lot to say about the Fringe, and it does. In fact it has a lot to say about comedy generally, with capable writers like Stephanie Merritt and Jo Caird. Jay Richardson is never less than impeccaby well-informed, and […]

The Independent

The meaning of life is, apparently, “the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death”. Somewhere in there, joy and love should occur. Pity the Independent, then. For the past 20 years its story has been one of shrinkage, dysfunction, and becoming more risible as it circles the plughole of oblivion seemingly […]

The List

The List is sort of like Time Out, but for Scotland. And like Time Out it is a bit of a relic and is sold to the sort of people who still maintain magazine subscriptions. In short it records absolutely everything that is happening for the benefit of people who never go out. Many of […]

The New Current

The New Current moans on its home page that “2013 was a tough year for us”. The good people there lost their old site, apparently, along with all the archived reviews. Which means that every single comedian can pretend, for free, to have had a five-star review from The New Current! Go ahead – fill […]

The Scotsman & Wow24/7

For many years, a good review in The Scotsman was what every aspiring stand-up hoped for. For the smaller show it was a huge fillip when a real newspaper, with a wide-ranging interest in the Fringe and a respected team of reviewers, might just deem your show worth seeing. Today The Scotsman has let its […]

The Skinny

Skinny, you may already know, was once called Skinny Fest. But then there was a rupture, and the magazine divided between the people who wanted to write about all the stuff that’s on in Scotland and the people who wanted to hire children to do that once a year, leaving themselves more time to stamp […]

The Stage

The Stage takes an actorly slant on comedy. It will talk about revelation of character; about whether the comedian’s entrance was a coup de theatre; about the dramatic tension created during a long rant or monologue. In the same way that the more upmarket restaurant reviewers are never so gauche as to talk about the […]

The Telegraph

You sense that comedy is not of primary importance in The Telegraph’s pantheon of the arts – even though it lists it in the website’s navigation bar before art, photography, dance opera or even – gasp! – Glyndebourne. Comedy at The Telegraph is the chief concern of Dominic Cavendish, with chip-ins by other arts journalists, particularly […]

The Wee Review

The Wee Review used to be TV Bomb. It is a review site whose title is in the Scots diminutive but which could just as much refer to the litres of hot steaming micturition this site is wont to point at things it really, really takes exception to. Thank goodness it doesn’t happen often. Most […]

Three Weeks

Three Weeks, it is fair to say, knows nothing – starting with how many weeks there are in the Edinburgh Fringe. If someone from Three Weeks is coming to your show, then take out any reference to things that happened more than a month ago. Abandon all attempt at irony, nuance, understatement, overstatement or subtlety. […]

Time Out

Once upon a time, Time Out ruled London and New York and then gradually began to wrap its tentacles around the rest of the world. Then the internet happened, and everyone realised there was a million ways of finding out what’s going on without having to know about EVERYTHING that’s going on. In any case, […]

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Browse our wide selection ofReviewer Reviews

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Dave Fargnoli

Jessica Cropper
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