AdlFringe Diary 1: So You Think You Can Critic?

by Jane

Don’t tell anyone, it’s shocking, I know, that this level of sarcasm and what I like to call “wit” comes from someone with no training at all.  Ever since I escaped my Year Twelve Drama final exam screaming “don’t ever make me watch a Baz Lurhman film again!” this reviewing has been all me, baby.  Believe it or not (and, well, if you don’t believe it, you don’t have to go far back to find people in the comments not too impressed with me), I have, on occasion, gotten into a touch of trouble for stuff I’ve written on this blog.  Sometimes warranted, sometimes not.  Either way, I will always be proud of the infamy I carried in my Battle With The Bistro (C).

But because of this I thought maybe it was about time I learnt some proper legal stuff (my calling it “stuff” may give you an idea as to where I lie in my knowledge), and it was with that Day One of my Fringe started with me trundling off to Learn How To Be A Critic.

Together with a group of other aspiring young critics, I was taught:

  • The best way to get interviews is to hang around after the show and try and nab the artists on their way home for a few quick questions.
  • If this doesn’t work, accosting them in the corner of The Garden of Unearthly Delights is another good idea.
  • Once you have this interview, it is a good idea to integrate your interview with your review of the show.
  • Never write anything you wouldn’t say to someone’s face.  Especially if this face is attached to someone with big, muscular arms.
  • If you didn’t like a show, it’s probably just because it wasn’t to your taste.  Thus, you should include in all “bad” reviews that you give something along the lines of “while elephants being forced to stand on one leg while hola-hooping and painting wasn’t something that I enjoyed, that’s probably just because I don’t enjoy animal torture.  I’m sure there were many audience members who do appreciate such things: this show is for you!”, or, “although I could hear no lines, as we sat in a dark box for an hour, perhaps this is just in my opinion, because I can’t see in the dark nor do I have as good as hearing as dogs.  I’m sure all audience members who are canines with see-in-the-dark glasses got a lot out of it.”
  • Making comments like these will help you write a fair and balanced review, and stop you from getting in any legal trouble.
  • If you are worried about legal problems, just use your “common sense” and everything will turn out okay.

Now, this blog post might be defamation.  But my “common sense” tells me it’s not.  So I guess it’s okay then!  Look out for my use of these handy hints in my Fringe Reviews!