FringeGuru – The Editor's Blog

Recruiting reviewers: what we’re looking for

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Back when I started this blog, I invited you to post suggestions for topics I might cover over the next few weeks.  One suggestion came from an anonymous performer, who asked – if I may paraphrase it – how websites like ours can be sure that our reviewers know what they’re talking about.  It’s a very fair question, but I don’t have a general-purpose answer; all I can tell you is what we do, as we seek to maintain our quality.

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Written by Richard Stamp

August 14, 2013 at 11:23 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

The famous five

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Earlier today, I published my first five-star review from this year’s Fringe.  It’s not the first across the whole of FringeGuru – but it’s the first show that I, personally, have given the top accolade.  And that ties nicely into some discussions I’ve been having over the last few days, about the special function of a five-star review and just how many of them we ought to allow.

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Written by Richard Stamp

August 12, 2013 at 11:34 pm

Posted in Star ratings

Dealing with favourites

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I started this blog saying that I’d discuss the “ethics and practice” of reviewing, but it’s occurred to me today that I’ve barely mentioned ethics at all.  So to ease us gently into those potentially murky waters, here’s the first of a couple of posts about the relationships reviewers have with the rest of the Fringe community.  Today’s question: must reviewers treat everyone equally, or is past experience a valid input into how we behave?  In short, is it OK to have favourites?

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Written by Richard Stamp

August 10, 2013 at 11:53 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Publish and be damned?

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Earlier today I took part in an event called “Selling Your Show At The Fringe” – though given the preponderance of media types on the panel, it did degenerate at times into “Selling Your Show To Journalists”.  There was a lot of interesting discussion on a range of points, and the good folks of Fringe Central live tweeted the whole thing.  If you weren’t there and you haven’t already seen it, it’s well worth a read.

One of the questions which came up was, paraphrasing it slightly, the circumstances under which we’d spike a review.  That’s worth a quick blog post, I think – in fact, we’ve already touched on it in the comments a couple of times so far.

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Written by Richard Stamp

August 8, 2013 at 11:58 pm

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Shoulda, coulda, woulda

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Today, I published this review of a play called Splatter.  I was arm-twisted into reviewing Splatter as a result of an unwise comment on Twitter, and I have to admit I wasn’t expecting much from it – but in that regard, I was completely wrong.  It’s an excellent play for a student production, with some compelling performances and a nicely-balanced script.  And so it hurt a little bit to have to write that last-but-one paragraph – the one which says that the good work’s undermined by a completely unsuitable performance space.

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Written by Richard Stamp

August 7, 2013 at 11:57 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Wielding the blue pencil

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A very quick blog post from me today, because the Fringe has finally caught up with me and I’m feeling the urgent need for some quality shut-eye. I’ve spent the greater part of today wearing my editor’s hat, publishing the first batch of reviews from the rest of my team; and that, while I think of it, is something that’s worth briefly talking about.

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Written by Richard Stamp

August 6, 2013 at 11:51 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Now we are seven: the star-rating debate rumbles on

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So there’s really only one thing I can write about today: the surprise announcement from the Edinburgh Evening News that they’ll be awarding stars out of seven this Fringe. I think it’s fair to say that the news has been received with a certain amount of derision, but if you’re expecting me to join the piling-on, then you’re going to be disappointed. I have my doubts about whether they can make it stick – at least without the support of their stable-mate the Scotsman – but I do think there’s quite a lot of sense in what they’re aiming to do.

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Written by Richard Stamp

August 5, 2013 at 3:28 pm

Posted in Star ratings

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