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The alternative Edinburgh Fringe magazine

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  • 08/22/15--17:17: Tamarin Fountain
  • FRINGE GURU First the good news: Tamarin Fountain has an excellent name. Well, that’s not the good news. But she does, though. The good news is that Tamarin Fountain writes very clearly in plain English. Her style is friendly in a sub Marge-Proops way, and she lets you know what’s going on without getting too […]

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  • 08/23/15--17:01: Sarah Gough
  • BROADWAY BABY I’m sure that, if I could get over the pony club tone to Sarah Gough’s reviews, I’d find her to be a perfectly adequate reviewer. So I’m going to say that she’s a perfectly adequate reviewer. I’m sure the non-ironic and shameless use of the phrase “cheeky chappy” to describe Rhys Nicholson is […]

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  • 08/23/15--17:51: Craig Thomson
  • FRINGE GURU At first, Craig Thomson’s prose style can jar a bit. But then you start reading his work in a clipped, treacly, 1950s cricket-commentator voice and then it all feels right. Especially when he says things like: “There shouldn’t be a problem with drunken rowdiness before elevenses, I’d hope.” Not that Thomson is impenetrable: far […]

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  • 08/25/15--17:56: Nick Awde
  • THE STAGE Nick Awde has been around since gaslighting, writing about theatre and working on a string of large stage productions, some of them at the Fringe. This pedigree may explain the aloofness with which he told Phil Ellis’s Funz and Gamez Tooz to fuck off: “Guys, you got last year’s award because you were […]

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  • 08/25/15--19:31: Dominic Cavendish
  • THE TELEGRAPH Dominic Cavendish is perhaps best known, among comedians anyway, as the man who walked out of a Stewart Lee gig. Appalled by Lee’s apparent contempt for his audience, Cavendish asked why “the capacity crowd didn’t mutiny at this sardonic onslaught”. The reason, in the heads of most comedygoers, was that they understood the […]

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  • 08/26/15--20:48: Louise Jones
  • BROADWAY BABY Louise Jones could do with reading over her work and tightening things up a bit. She uses the word ‘conceit’ and the phrase ‘padded out’ a bit and there are quite a few typos to trip the reader up. But such things are only worthy of mention because they impede what could be […]

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  • 08/27/15--17:52: Alun Evans
  • SCOTSGAY At first it seems that Alun Evans’ reviews are not very good. They seem like very matter-of-fact, unexceptional and literal pieces of prose. And then you remember that this is exactly what reviews are supposed to be like, and that you (and probably everyone else) has been ruined by the review-as-self-expression. The creative writing […]

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  • 08/27/15--19:09: Dave Coates
  • THE LIST Dave Coates is one of those reviewers who, like a teacher at a long-established school, wants everyone to try their best. And he wants them to be cheerful about it.Jack Barry, for example, “seems self-aware enough that his mis-steps suggest a performer in the middle of a promising learning process”. Coates could have […]

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  • 08/29/15--18:20: Stu Black
  • THE SKINNY 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 […]

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  • 08/29/15--20:20: Stephanie Withers
  • THREE WEEKS Stephanie Withers gives the impression of being scared of running over the word limit. Her reviews release their information in staccato squirts of data. Occasionally she’ll pair two sentences with a comma. But mostly it reads like this. However, her reviews are better than this makes them sound. They’re perfectly clear and she […]

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  • 08/15/16--10:41: Nina Keen
  • THREE WEEKS Is the world just wrong? Or is Nina Keen just wrong? Because one of the two MUST be wrong. Nina Keen is not averse to the reviewer-speak standby of saying that a thing does or doesn’t “live up to its title”. So excuse me for saying that, whether she is wrong or not, […]

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  • 08/15/16--11:10: Jonathan Holmes
  • FEST What is going on at Fest Towers this year? Last year their average score – AVERAGE – was 2.3 stars. This year it’s like opening a box of glitter. Maybe they realised nobody likes them. Maybe it was starting to hit their bottom line (would you buy an ad in a magazine that had […]

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  • 08/15/16--19:15: Simon Fearn
  • BROADWAY BABY Reading a Simon Fearn review puts one in mind of one of those QVC infomercials where they have 20 minutes to fill and only a set of Tupperware beakers to talk about. Fearn covers every angle, in the most plodding way, almost as if he’s got one eye on the word count to […]

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  • 08/16/16--19:13: Polly Glynn
  • THE SKINNY “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 […]

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  • 08/19/16--08:19: Will Young
  • FEST The problem with Will Young – and it’s not a terminal problem – is his apparent need to assault everything he looks at. He’ll attempt to establish an ideological standpoint, frame a performer’s whole existence or tie the whole show up into an epithet. Until he’s got his performer helpless and hogtied, Young does […]

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  • 08/21/16--20:53: Mark Parker
  • MUMBLE As ever when venturing into the undergrowth of Mumbledonia, we have to ask ourselves “Is this a real person, or just another one of Mark ‘Divine’ Calvert’s aliases?” Not that MDC actually exists either. But there is a person, somewhere, at the website that calls itself Mumble Comedy, because there isn’t yet a computer […]

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  • 08/21/16--21:43: Craig Naples
  • THE LIST Craig Naples has this infuriating habit of trying to give a tantalising flavour of something but just being bloody annoying. When he tells us that Scott Gibson: Life After Death comes “…with one moment in particular (involving a matron and a pillow) … is swift yet chillingly clinical and grotesque”, he applies FOUR […]

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  • 08/07/17--10:43: Eve Livingston
  • THE SKINNY There’s no affectation to Eve Livingston’s reviews; they’re straight as an arrow hewn out at the Rolls Royce machineworks. The quality isn’t far off either. If Livingston has one fault it’s perhaps her conviction that she has to comment on every bit of the show; not quite blow by blow but certainly every […]

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  • 08/08/17--02:56: Eva Hibbs
  • BROADWAY BABY We were beginning to think that the art of the reviewer brainfart was passed, so thank all that’s holy for Eva Hibbs. Her small stack of reviews so far provide some of the most perplexing and intractable sentences yet committed to the canon. Hibbs has reviewed some shows with very out-there conceits, which […]

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  • 08/08/17--16:15: Martin Gray
  • THE SCOTSMAN When you work at the Scotsman, I guess, you don’t feel you need to impress anyone. I mean sure, the paper is going down the tubes faster than a KY-jellied eel poo at a waterpark but for the moment it’s still the grand dame of Scottish journalism. Or croque monsieur, since Scotsman is […]

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