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 as a handful of Zimbabwean dollars that have been used to pay off a prostitute with ebola. Who has slept with all of UKIP.
This year they gave four stars to almost everything; only the Oxford Imps got a one-star, and even that conceded that “maybe on another day they would have been better”. Tony Law got three but the reviewer said he was prepared to give another since his opinion was clearly at odds with the audience. This is the generosity of spirit embodied by Sheila the reviewer who died in 2010: we must give her partner Geoff kudos for sticking with it and for giving the website a clean new look. Today there’s a reviewer called Alan, too, although Alan may be a dog or a puppet or a dog puppet made from a brown paper bag, or possibly a man over the age of 80. In some reviews Alan gives up halfway through, saying it’s all too loud and bangy, and goes for a nice lie down.
The best thing about One4Review is that its reviews are mercifully short, in fact most of them could be written on the back of a bus ticket. In fact most of them are. Even then they are mostly about why the reviewer decided to go and what he wished he’d seen instead and whether or not it was raining and what the act was wearing. It’s all very shallow, sort of like a conversation with a hairdresser if your hairdresser has a lot on his mind. But we’ll say one thing for Geoff: he never pretends to know more about comedy than the acts do. Ingénues take note.