The Skinny

Yasmin Hackett August 20th, 2018 by

Yasmin Hackett is not the most entertaining reviewer. There is something to be said for just turning up and saying what you see, but at times it seems as if Hackett is making a police statement that may be used in court, possibly of a crime she didn’t find very exciting. At best her reviews […]

George Sully August 18th, 2018 by

I’m confused. George Sully is a ‘director’ of Fest, whatever that means, and has also written extensively for the Skinny. He has written overarching trend pieces and the occasional movie review, but never before has he dirtied the rarefied flesh of his lilywhites with Fringe comedy. Until this year. For some reason George Sully felt […]

Polly Glynn August 17th, 2016 by

“There are a few lyrical clangers,” says Polly Glynn of Gareth Richards… and it’s a charge that might be made of her reviews too. There’s quite a lot that jars. She tells us that Michael Brunstrӧm’s The Hay Wain Reloaded is saved by “its clever and coherent structure”, but then immediately afterwards concludes that it’s […]

Stu Black August 30th, 2015 by

Stu Black is quite refreshing. Perhaps I feel like that because we’ve all had a week in the FringePig office looking at reviewers eager to winkle out misogynists and those guilty of cultural essentialism or national exceptionalism or gender reductivism. Reviewers who have taken on the job of culture police. And then suddenly we have […]

Craig Angus August 21st, 2015 by

Craig Angus is a good example of how The Skinny’s new approach to reviews may not be working. Reviewers now have to see a whole bunch of shows and then, when they’re ready to share their accumulated wealth of opinion, they have to sew them all together with a causal thread. So The Skinny is not […]

Cara McNamara August 15th, 2015 by

This year The Skinny has taken to packing shows together for review, which may be new editor Ben Venables’ way of getting more work out of his staff. For my money this approach works best when the shows under discussion have some points in common. The Skinny does indeed bind the shows together as themes, […]

John Stansfield August 9th, 2015 by

You know how preachers – of any religion – will tell you that God knows you far better than you can know yourself? Well God knows nothing next to John Stansfield. John Stansfield looks down from on high upon the piddling little comedian and knows exactly what they think they are, what they think they’re […]

Dave House August 26th, 2014 by

Sometimes you just want to tell Dave House not to get so overexcited. Sophie Willian: Novice Detective is “about as good as you can reasonably expect”. And Jenan Younis will be glad to learn that “the short length of her show means it remains quite fun throughout and never drags”. This may, however, just be […]

Chris Rumbles August 26th, 2014 by

Chris Rumbles is aptly named: his critiques roll noisily through each show he sees, alerting us to the many bumps and ruts. Inevitably, though, Rumble’s own wheels eventually fall off and we are left wondering which was really at fault: the show, or the reviewer driving his coach and horses through it. That allegory was […]

Cayley James August 25th, 2014 by

Cayley James is in no doubt that she knows what comedy is, and what must be done to make it better. When she commands that “The Fringe needs more comedians of colour – the overwhelmingly white programme doesn’t lack quality but it does lack perspective,” it surely did not even occur to her that this […]

Jacqueline Thompson August 20th, 2014 by

Jacqueline Thompson doesn’t like men being loud. And she doesn’t like them being all … you know…  man-like. Time and again Thompson reacts with barely-concealed disgust to any whiff of volume or testosterone. Even so gentle a creature as Caimh McDonnell unnerves her: “His fast-paced, slightly shouty style can be witnessed on a number of […]

Graeme Morrice August 12th, 2014 by

Full marks to Graeme Morrice for being rambling, irrelevant and slightly offensive in the opening paragraph of his Lucy Beaumont review. “It’s a balmy Thursday night and there’s a mixed crowd packed into one of the smaller Pleasance Courtyard venues. Something’s needed to take our minds off the heat and luckily there’s a slightly ditzy […]

Ben Venables August 7th, 2014 by

There comes a point in every Ben Venables review that you realise he’s gone off on one and left you scratching your head. His musings reach their most quixotic when he’s trying to describe what people look like: “His slight frame and birdie innocence recall the infant heron gulls that have divebombed Edinburgh gardens these […]

Heather McDaid July 17th, 2014 by

Heather McDaid writes reasonably well. This is faint praise of course, but I’m guessing she is very young – many of her sentences trip over themselves and the reader is often stumped by confusion, bad grammar and ambiguity. Not that these faults are confined to youth, of course. But McDaid’s prose seems to have a […]

Jess Duxbury July 17th, 2014 by

It’s passing strange that, at the 2013 Fringe, the comedian Sarah Campbell was reviewed in two different publications by reviewers who didn’t go on to review a single other comedy thing that year. What happened? Was there a conspiracy? Did Campbell have them killed? Did Campbell pose as a reviewer to review herself? This could […]

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 […]

Tony Makos July 17th, 2014 by

Tony Makos approaches reviewing with the right attitude. He opines that Nadia Kamil’s first solo hour “is all over the shop, and barely hangs together in places”, but nonetheless grants her four stars because “it’s clear she’s having nothing less than an amazing time”. Makos puts his analytical skills behind his gut reaction in most […]

Vonny Moyes July 17th, 2014 by

Vonny Moyes isn’t a bad reviewer. In fact she could be great. Reviewing is not, of course, anything that greatly adds to the canon of literature, but some of her passages really sing. Of the show Pick Me Up she writes: “One or two sketches feel just a touch unresolved, and a meandering narrative sometimes […]

Elaine Reid July 17th, 2014 by

Elaine Reid is a very capable reviewer. Her one fault is an imagined conversation with the reader which can become a little cloying. It’s all “Yes, the show is this, but it’s also that”. And she’ll insert the caesura of “Did I mention this? Well I have now…” But if she puts herself in the […]

Roxane Hudon July 17th, 2014 by

Roxane Hudon isn’t a terrible reviewer, but she does possess some annoying tics that become more so as you read through her canon. By the end of it you feel you’ve pulled on a sandpaper vest. For one thing, Hudon seems tied up with her own preconceptions and determined to bore us with what they […]

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