PublicationsBroadway Baby

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 picture. We haven’t changed the picture yet.

The sober, less hilarious truth is that Broadway Baby is much better now. In fact, BB would win the prize for Most Improved Reviewer 2016 if we gave prizes for such a thing. We don’t, of course, because an accolade such as ‘most improved reviewer’ is on a par with ‘best skin disease’ or ‘most charming sex pest’. We’re here to grade, not encourage. That said, BB’s reviews last year were more or less sensible, more or less grammatical and always flew somewhere within the orbit of Planet Fair Enough. As always when you employ students to write for you, there were instances where the pigeon-shit of safe-space politics and received wisdom spattered the windscreen. But overall, this website’s vision has improved beyond all expectations.

Sadly it is now just a website; it gave up its print output in 2014. If this made it less of a draw for journalism students it didn’t show, as this was the year it overtook Three Weeks for sheer volume of reviews posted. And of course, all its old reviews, written by debutantes, drop-outs, frothing militants, morons and pieces of pavement chewing gum that have turned sentient, are all there in the website’s labyrinthine archives and still haunting anyone who fell foul of it in the olden days (you know, pre-Refertrumpexit).

BB now covers five UK Fringe festivals, plus Irish events and American Broadway and off-Broadway shows, so there’s no denying its reach or ambition. So is Mr Rumania’s conclusion, that “a bad review still hurts your feelings while a good review counts for fuck all” still true? Well the first part is, because that’s just life. A good review from BB is, we’d say, worth more now that the scattergun of one-stars and five-stars has mellowed into a more considered cluster around the three-star mark. It’s an oversimplification, but the more three-star reviews a publication gives, the more you can trust its judgement when it gives twos and fours. If it gives a lot of ones and fives it’s probably pish, as BB used to be.

To the average punter the Baby is still toddler non grata, but watch this space. It has a clean nappy on and it’s growing up.

Nigella Carbide

Reviewers for Broadway Baby

Jane Beeston

“Words, words, words – Jane has always been obsessed with them, those written, spoken and performed!” So begins Jane Beeston’s ...
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Frodo Allan

You know that bit in the Fisher King… (yes I know nobody watches the serious Robin Williams films anymore but ...
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Laura Pujos

Nobody could accuse Pujos of being dismissive about what she sees. Bloody hell no. She attends comedy shows as if ...
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Eva Hibbs

We were beginning to think that the art of the reviewer brainfart was passed, so thank all that’s holy for ...
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Simon Fearn

Reading a Simon Fearn review puts one in mind of one of those QVC infomercials where they have 20 minutes ...
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Louise Jones

Louise Jones could do with reading over her work and tightening things up a bit. She uses the word 'conceit' ...
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Sarah Gough

I’m sure that, if I could get over the pony club tone to Sarah Gough’s reviews, I’d find her to ...
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Catriona Scott

There’s something very amusing about Catriona Scott’s reviews. She writes in the style of a Victorian botanist describing something nobody ...
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Kate Wilkinson

Kate Wilkinson gets the reviewing lark right, on the whole, with a nice balance between exposition and commentary. Her style ...
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Joseph McAulay

Joseph McAulay concerns himself with theatre in the main, and makes only occasional sorties into comedy. While a thesp overview ...
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