Izzie Fernandes August 21st, 2015 by

I don’t know how YOU review Fringe reviewers, but I do it like this: I make a document of all their reviews so far and go through it with a highlighter: yellow for things I would question, red for bits that I like. But the reviews of Izzie Fernandes were so streaked with yellow you […]

Ben Shannon August 12th, 2015 by

Ben Shannon is a likeable presence whose relaxed hand on the tiller eases the audience into the situation, combining a light-hearted patter and confidence beyond his years. Don’t take my word for it, though. Because those were not my words. They were a reviewer’s words, back when Shannon was in Three Men and a Saucepan […]

Louise Mason August 11th, 2015 by

Oh Mumble Comedy, must we play this game again? Oh fine. Here we go then. Louise Mason is a real person who actually went to review things. The fact that she writes exactly like all the other Mumble Comedy reviewers, who in turn write exactly like Damo Bullen (and we know he exists because he […]

Charlotte Ivers August 13th, 2014 by

There was a point in Charlotte Ivers’ review of Mark Nelson where I wanted to invent the game Reviewer Bingo, in which the cards would have stock reviewing phrases instead of numbers. “His delivery is confident and relaxed…” (Yes!) “Controversial enough to keep things interesting, but never oversteps the mark….” (Yes!) “His social observations are […]

Dan Lentell August 3rd, 2014 by

Dan Lentell has several obstacles to overcome if he wants to be taken seriously as a reviewer. First he must differentiate clearly between his objective description of the event he’s watching and the nebulous PR-spracht of the performer’s flyer. Or maybe it’s just what tumbled, unsorted, from Lentell’s head. In any case, paragraphs like this […]

Tom Moyser July 17th, 2014 by

“I went into the theatre thinking that assisted suicide was a sad but sometimes necessary thing, and I left thinking just that, having learnt very little”. Thus Tom Moyser admonishes Chris Larner, explaining that he had to remove a star from the true monodrama of his terminally ill wife, because he didn’t learn that lethal […]

Signe Madara July 17th, 2014 by

Business Leopard is reviewing Signe Madara not because it will serve the public good, or alert people of any danger, or recommend him to the pantheon of journalism. Business Leopard is reviewing him solely in the interests of completism; because his editor Mister Kipper has demanded that we leave no stone unturned nor one reviewer […]

Shiv Das July 17th, 2014 by

Oh for fuck’s fucking sake. Shiv Das gives five stars to almost everything. While it’s all well and good to enjoy your job, a good review doesn’t mean that the reviewer can just cut and paste the PR spiel, or excuse themselves from the niceties of critical analysis, punctuation and grammar. I’m sure no act […]

Polly Davidson July 17th, 2014 by

When Polly Davidson says that “At least [Tony Law] is definitely funny”, she pays him scant credit. This is the only thing she is certain of in the entire review, and even then she keeps it until the end. His comedy is “all over the place”, she reports, wielding critical insight with all the dextrous […]

Lily Blacksell July 17th, 2014 by

It’s always difficult reviewing reviewers who are bed-and-breakfasting in comedy when it’s clearly not their specialism. Blacksell spent the 2013 Fringe reviewing music, but then reviewed one comedy show – Alistair McGowan. Why? Because “back in the day, Alistair McGowan’s Big Impression was a firm family favourite in our house”. Right then. So I expect […]

Andrew Currums July 15th, 2014 by

Andrew Currums is a difficult reviewer to assess. While a great many of his conclusions seem wrong to anyone of normal intelligence, they do follow an internal logic that makes sense in itself. For instance, he complains that Vladimir McTavish and Keir McAllister’s Look At The State Of Scotland (I’m going back to 2012 here […]

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