Suzanne Black supplied a lot of The List’s reviews this year, which is to the magazine’s credit. Unusually for a reviewer Black doesn’t linger too long over any particular detail and gives the performer, the material and the vibe in the room sufficient explanation.
Black often goes to some lengths to explain how much she enjoyed something only to award it three stars. You would expect a duo who “manage to create a state of incantatory unexpectedness” [Gravity Boots] to be something rather special, but no. Three stars. Her comment that Damian Clark’s energy “makes the hour seem funnier than it actually is” seems particularly parsimonious. It takes a very jaded reviewer to ask people to stop enjoying themselves for a moment and take the material apart.
Black, for the most part, is reasonable and accepting of the many small errors that can strike any show. Her main fault is to bring too much baggage along: Katie Goodman’s successes were, apparently “tempered by an irony-free number about MILFs that ignores feminist criticism of the acronym.” Er, what? Such tongue-tied appraisals dog Black’s work, which is also let down by juvenile non-nouns like ‘stalwart’ and ‘cohort’ (please just say ‘performer’ or ‘friend’ if that’s what you mean). If Black would make a friend of Mister Plain English, she could be one of the better reviewers on the Fringe