Reviews for the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe Festival (In order from most enjoyable to least)

 

Welcome to the 2014 version of my Fringe reviews.I will wait until I have seen twenty shows before posting my first reviews to allow me to develop a reasonable star system.I will again tailor 10 days of my schedule to that of my friend Timís.He is much more knowledgeable about the production qualities of the companies.You can see my 2014 schedule.You can find out about me, and my extended thoughts about reviewing at the bottom of this page.I think that the most useful aspect for my readers is the rankings.I base the rankings on my enjoyment of the show, so they may not reflect the quality of the script and/or acting.I prefer plays to comedy acts, but work in a little of the latter for diversity.I have discovered that I have a penchant for true stories.The comments are usually only three sentences long because I have little time between shows, and, after all, I am here for the shows.You can also see my 152 reviews for 2013 Fringe, 135 reviews for 2012 Fringe, 175 reviews for 2011 Fringe,200 reviews for 2010 Fringe, 177 reviews for 2009 Fringe, 153 reviews for 2008 Fringe, 162 reviews for 2006 Fringe, and 151 reviews for 2005 Fringe.I always enjoy chatting with both audience members and dramatic artists.If you wish to contact me, send e-mail to Sean Davis.

You can change the sorting column of the table below by first clicking anywhere in its header.Each succeeding click in the header sorts the table by the column clicked.Succeeding clicks of a column will reverse the previous sort order.I have now added a Date column so that returning viewers can sort by it to see my most recent reviews.

 

 

Rank

Title and Review

Venue

Times

Date

1. 

Best

2. 

 

 

 

 

 

I am a 61-year old Computer Science lecturer from the University of California in Davis who thinks even a bad play is better than no play at all.Besides teaching, I work as a house painter / handyman to earn the extra money to pay for my travels.I have been to the Fringe ten times before.Eleven years ago, after two weeks touring France, my wife and I spent nine days of our honeymoon at the Fringe.We shared 45 plays, and I attended ten other events besides.In 2005, I fulfilled a dream of seeing an entire Fringe Festival.Since then, I have been here for the whole Fringe every year except 2007.I have learned to devote most days to only one venue to maximize the number of performances I can see.I expect this year to be similar to lastómany performances, and many new friends.

 

After attending more than 1000 performances, I have a much better idea of my biases and prejudices in the role of a critic.To limit my analyzing shows during their performances as much as possible, I have intentionally avoided any training in criticism and the dramatic arts, both formal and informal.I find that I prefer fact to fiction, innovation to repetition, coherence to creativity, the concrete to the symbolic, and cleverness to depth.I realize that many of these are antithetical to the spirit of the Fringe, but I cannot deny my nature.In particular, I just do not like shows that push the bounds of creativity beyond my ability to make sense of them.Because I choose to fill time slots with whatever is available, I still expose myself to such shows, and do not mind.However, I do feel a little guilty giving a low rating to a show on which a company has worked so hard, and with such commitment. Nevertheless, I envision that that is my roleóto accurately report my enjoyment so that others may better use my ratings.In all but a very few cases, I admire the effort of each company, and wish them well.

 

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