Okay, so I recognise that I’ve just posted something that in some lights could be considered a theatre review. And as such I’ve no doubt there’ll be people who disagree with some or all of it. Fair play. That’s the nature of reviews after all, but at least I hope that the review itself is presented in a factually and grammatically accurate way.
I know a few people who have spent the last few weeks cramming their days with Fringey stuff and reviewing what they see in one or other of the many Fringe review venues. These guys are professional journalists and writers with arts backgrounds; subsequently their reviews are good ones: clear, fair and informed. However, skimming some of these sites for notices of shows I might have wanted to see, I was actually pretty shocked at the standard of some of the reviews that go up. Seriously guys, if you’re going to infuse your coruscating criticism with a sense of superior knowledge, at least get your facts right (All That Jazz is from Chicago, not Cabaret, no matter how badly it’s performed). Oh, and if you’re not sure of a word, take time to check how to spell it. I know you’re doing everything on your i-Pad this year, but there must be an app for that, surely? Oh, and the performers you’re slagging off? At least do them the courtesy of getting their names right. And, yeah, while I’m at it – have a clue about what you’re talking about. Just in general.
I’m not blaming the editors here. At the Fringe there are way too many reviews to proof each one of them. No, the onus is on the reviewers. If you’re going to take a free ticket to a show and write it up afterwards, set yourself some standards and stick to them.
That way people will pay attention to what you have to say.