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 looked at the Fringe Guru landing page at the beginning of August and thought it looked like all the other blog-based review sites just before the Fringe: a vague holding page of stuff they claimed they would be doing. It was some days before we realised you had to click on the ‘reviews & comment’ button, which sits meekly at the top left as if it’s not actually the whole bloody point of the thing. Whenever we go back to Fringe Guru we still stare at the first page until specks of dust settle on our unblinking eyes, and then we notice the ‘reviews & comment’ button again, and reflect sadly that this is what it’s like to be old. Probably.
So, having successfully dissuaded about 75 per cent of visitors from getting any further into the site (yes we ARE stupid but at least we’re tenacious), what does Fringe Guru offer? Well, a list basically, of the latest things they’ve seen. Or you can see them alphabetically. But this is the limit to your possibilities. There’s nothing to denote what category the shows are in. This would be fine if Fringe Guru ONLY reviewed theatre, but it makes no such claim and it does look at other stuff. So unless you take an undifferentiated and catholic interest in all art, you’re going to be clicking to and fro a lot.
If you want to read their stand-up comedy reviews, you need to be particularly determined. You’ll need time to spare: whatever time you have left after staring at the front page the way the dwarves in the Hobbit films stare at that mountainside with no bloody door in it.
Anyway, the layout is neat and the reviews aren’t at all bad. It could be a decent review site. It just needs to make a few more concessions to the lazy, stupid fluffy-pawed user.