Rory Morgan doesn’t do a bad job of reviewing. He says what he sees and sums up his impressions in a solid, workmanlike manner. He makes good use of his publication’s word limit, and doesn’t waste too much space going off on vapid tangents.
It’s a shame then that Morgan relies so heavily on professional cliché and stock statements to pin his reviews together: things like “Truly this is a comedian who will have the Marmite effect on fringe goers” and “whether you like it or not you can’t say it’s boring”. He also repeats himself a little, writing in several reviews that an act’s material “does not match up” to their enthusiasm / persona. This isn’t to say that the observation is ever invalid, and there’s no evidence that Morgan is anything but fair.
Morgan could be a good reviewer if he wasn’t quite so lazy with his words. The statement “Unlike any other stand-up at the Fringe; [Colin] Hoult’s uncompromising insanity makes for a memorable experience” throws the hyperbolic and the humdrum together in a horrible porridge of word crap. What sort of compromise can be brooked with insanity, Rory? Is ‘uncompromising insanity’ merely ‘memorable’? Shouldn’t it be terrifying, or tragic? If it’s only ‘memorable’, is the uncompromising insanity really ‘unlike’ the other 899 stand-up shows?
If something’s truly unique, it deserves a proper description, and you sense that Morgan either doesn’t have the skill or the time. Hopefully it’s the later.
Similarly, with Alfie Brown Morgan can’t decide whether to sign off by saying that his material will ‘relax’ or ‘broaden’ as the Festival goes on, so we get “perhaps his material will relax broaden”.
Another 20 minutes before hitting ‘send’ could do miracles for this reviewer.