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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: September 18, 2008 @ 4:07 pm

    What is the star?

    Fiona McCann

    star1.jpg This Fringe has so far proved a pretty mixed bag, with some great shows (Etiquette, Pinocchio and Equilibre spring to mind), alongside some serious duds. But that’s just my opinion, ain’t it? Reviewing is a subjective game but it still seems quite an amount of shows have been reduced to single stardom in the Irish Times rating system (which, by the way, is an Irish Times euphimism for plain old “bad”, in case there was any ambiguity). These include Mad Mabe, The Cat’s Miaow Part II, and City Breaks. Is this kind of shorthand fair to productions and cast, and does anyone feel the reviewers, myself included, were wrong? If so, line up folks because here’s your chance to realign the constellations.

    • dan,gulf of mexico says:

      fiona , what are we talking about here .Is this someone with John Lennon hairdo? or just
      another euphemism for Fringe

    • Greg Meylan says:

      Hello Fiona McCann, nice bit of blogging to be sure and I hope you’re well.

    • Luke says:

      Fortunately I’ve only witnessed one 1-star show (Mad Mabe), and I probably would have given it 2 stars coz they looked like nice people and they did try hard, and parts of it were enjoyable.
      And the only show i walked out of (Darkroom) got 5 stars ! Go figure. But star ratings are useful, because half the time with irish Times reviewers, after reading a review I still can’t figure out whether or not they liked something.

      It’s been a great Fringe, the first one that’s felt like a proper festival with decent interest from the media. In previous years, I’d regularly be at shows where there was only a handful of people. This year virtually everything has been comfortably full, or sold out.

    • Barry Mulligan says:

      I agree Etiquette is great. It should be available in every coffee shop!

      Perhaps I was lucky but I thought the quality was high. What did you think of:

      “All in the timing” in Bewleys?
      “Cat Lady/Human Jukebox” in the International?
      “Reptilian” in Filmbase?
      “Storytaker” in The Lab?

      I thought they were all very worthwhile, interesting, enjoyable shows with good stories and good acting.

      The Antics Roadshow was a novel idea bringing the public into the world of the graffiti artist and vice versa.

      I enjoyed, as I felt everybody there did, an evening with Camille in The Iveagh Gardens at the Cat’s Miaow.

      Red Bastard was good for 20 minutes then repetitive.

      “The Dark Room” – whilst not really my thing – was packed and people were laughing.

      “I’m so close it’s not even funny” not the best show but its the fringe festival you expect a mixed bag.

      Thats all part of it.

      Looking forward to Pinochio.

    • Fiona says:

      Luke – fair comment. Wonder if we should introduce the star rating for other things too!
      Barry, let me know what you think of Pinocchio. I didn’t get to see any of the shows you mentioned, apart from Antics Rogueshow. That’s the Fringe for you – so much going on, you can never take it all in . . . Countdown’s on now, though. Last minute recommendations welcome.

    • Blaithin says:

      Barry, can you contact me pls, blawser@gmail.com got some important information for you about Pinocchio… I’m at Fringe Box Office and we don’t have your contact details.

    • Blaithin says:

      Barry we’ve got some info for you about Pinocchio at Fringe Box Office. Pls mail boxoffice@fringefest.com or call 6728906. Thanks.

    • James says:

      Aside from the audience participation shows which interested me, does anyone feel that the Fringe Festival this year was dispiriting apolitical? Alot of the theatre shows I caught or heard didn’t seem to touch on any political aspect, and instead seemed to offer a more complacent, almost conservative programme on the whole.

    • Jane Morrison says:

      I thought Camille’s Cats Meow was a great show. To give 1 star was shockingly harsh. I sometimes wonder if when people are at the top of their game the critics feel they should bring them down. This is a regular 5 star winner and to drop to 1 star is a little harsh and rather puzzling?


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