FringeReview FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)


What is FringeReview?

FringeReview is an online reviews publication based at http://www.fringereview.com

We’ve been in existence for about 7 years and cover the UK and selected Fringe Festivals overseas.

We are a kind of “good food guide” to theatre, seeking out and only publishing reviews of recommended theatre (three stars or above rated shows). Shows falling below our standard are offered private feedback from our reviewer. About half take up that offer!

Why don’t you publish reviews of shows getting less than three stars?

We seek out good theatre and our unique position is to help our readers to decide what to see, not what not to see. There are many publications which rubbish shows as well as praising others. We make a selection. You can come to our publication and get trusted recommendations, among a whole range of possible shows, of what we think is worth seeing. We’ve decided to publicly seek out and celebrate the good in theatre.

What areas do you cover geographically?

Currently we review in London all year round,  Edinburgh all year round and during the Fringe in August, Brighton all year round and its Fringe in May.

Overall we cover Brighton, Edinburgh and London mostly. We also cover the Fringe Festivals in Amsterdam, Adelaide, Prague, Buxton, Oxford, Barnstaple, Bath, Exeter, Bedford, Milton Keynes, Camden and Henley (both in London).

We have plans to extend to more of the UK, as well as launching in New York, Amsterdam, Berlin and Australia during 2010/11.

Who edits FringeReview?

The London editor is Skye Crawford. Skye is a producer and columnist for Aussietheatre.com.  Our Brighton and Edinburgh editor is our founder, Paul Levy. Paul is director of Rational Madness Theatre and a writer in the field of organisational theatre. Our editor in Amsterdam is Simon Joseph.

Who owns FringeReview?

FringeReview is currently owned by its founder, Paul Levy who shares leadership with the editorial team. We have plans to set up FringeReview as a social enterprise. It receives some sponsorship from CATS3000. Ltd. FringeReview is a not for profit organisation and we plough any revenue gained from advertising back into running FringeReview.

What do you and don’t you cover?

We cover all forms of Fringe theatre. We don’t cover dance or stand-up comedy. We don’t usually cover, say a West-End London show, unless it has once had a Fringe run, or might be of special interest to Fringe audience. Fringe theatre is really theatre that takes place off-West end.

We don’t review pure stand-up comedy but would review sketch or character comedy. There’s no absolute line but the key thing is that the show has a significant theatrical element in it. Standing up and telling  jokes isn’t theatre to us. Standing up and playing comedy characters is, for us, theatre. Dance which has a theatrical element to it (which is a lot of dance) is also reviewable by us. A live musical gig isn’t reviewed by us – a  musical is.

Where does your funding/revenue come from?

FringeReview is currently a voluntary organisation receiving some sponsorship from CATS3000 and other organisations. We also generate a small amount of advertising revenue on our site. This goes towards covering our costs, with a longer term aim of using surplus revenue after costs to fund theatre projects all over the world.” We are focused on non-for-profit but generating a surplus to “put back” into the theatre community.

Do I qualify to be a FringeReview reviewer?

FringeReview reviewer’s are people in the theatre field:

Writers, Directors, Producers, Writers on theatre – essentially, theatre practioners

We tend not to work with Journalists unless they have theatre experience and the main focus of their writing is about theatre

How do I become a reviewer for FringeReview?

Read the documents on this site (see the right hand section under REVIEWER RESOURCES and apply with a sample of your writing to Skye Crawford (skye@fringereview.co.uk) in London, and Paul Levy (paul@fringereview.co.uk for all other regions. You can apply to be a reviewer here.

Will I get paid as a reviewer?

No. We are a voluntary organisation. The benefit you get is to see some terrific theatre and get a free ticket in (often two in London and Brighton, one at Edinburgh Fringe)

Isn’t there a conflict of interest between being a reviewer and working in the world of theatre?

There is a potential conflict of interest, though we have strict rules about not reviewing any shows in which you experience a conflict of interest: a show on at the same time or in the same venue as a show you are involved with; a show that has friends or recent professional colleagues in etc.

We are all adults and we expect our reviewers to be self-aware and not engage in reviewing where there might be a perceived conflict of interest. We also trust our reviewers to behave ethically and, if in doubt, to ask another reviewer to review the show.

If you don’t feel you can be self-disciplined in this way, then it is better not to review for us. In over 800 reviewed shows, we’ve only ever had a complaint, or had to intervene because of conflict of interest about 5 times.

If we discover bias due to this issue, we pull the review immediately and attempt to set things right.

How do you decide what shows to see?

FringeReview has an interactive web site which operates behind the scenes of our main web site. Here we interact with each other as reviewers as well as allowing companies to post their show info etc and for performers and audience to interact with each other. On this site we have private groups for our reviewers, organised by region. Our regional editors regularly keep a master list of shows available for reviewer. Reviewers can put their names by shows they want to review on a first come, first served basis. No one is allocated shows to reviewer. So a FringeReview reviewer is reviewing your show because they want to be there. Once a reviewer has committed to reviewing a show, they are committed to doing it. Even though our reviewers are volunteers, we expect them to behave professionally at all times and meet their obligations as if they were full employees.

Please post any further questions below and we’ll add them in with responses.

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