Caught in the act - Fringe performers getting creative with their reviews

This article is from 2011

Caught in the act - Fringe performers getting creative with List-credited reviews exposed

Exposed: Harmon Leon, Sophie Gatacre and James Sherwood

Every year, upon opening the Fringe programme, the staff at List HQ ask themselves, ‘Eh? Did we really give that show five stars?’ With so many quotes and suspicious-looking star ratings cropping up, we’ve decided to investigate and expose some of the most spurious List endorsements.

First up comedy double-header, Harmon Leon/Bush Monologues: Comedy Double Feature, which proudly boasts of a ••••• review from The List.

A little big of digging reveals that the review in question was, in fact, from 1999 (back when The List was printed in black and white – can you imagine?) for Harmon Leon’s solo show, Yank Me! when we did indeed say he was 'a comedy force to be reckoned with'.

However in our most recent review of Mr Leon’s work, from 2007, The List awarded him only a single star, saying ‘how he managed to work his way into the comedy section of the Fringe programme is his greatest hoax.’ Oh dear.

Next up, Sophie Gatacre of Samantha’s Hotline. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see the cabaret performance when it was in Edinburgh last year, but that apparently didn’t stop us saying that Gatacre had ‘the sexiest voice on the Fringe’. Upon closer inspection of our web archives, though, it turned out that the comment was left by a visitor to the site, who also gave the show four stars. At least she wasn’t cheeky enough to quote that.

A quick mention also to James Sherwood, presenting his show I Fed My Best Friend Her Favourite Cow. He was honest enough in saying that we called him ‘hilarious’; he was less open about the fact we put the word ‘sporadically’ in front, with an accompanying two-star review.

There'll be more here as we find 'em.

James Sherwood - I Fed My Best Friend Her Favourite Cow

James Sherwood ('Quite brilliant' Scotsman) uses stand-up ('Hilarious' List) and songs ('Beautifully crafted' Guardian) to find out the difference between good people and bad. A writer for Radio 4's best-loved comedy shows including The News Quiz, Now Show and Look Away Now, James has also appeared on Loose Ends, 4 Stands…

Harmon Leon/Bush Monologues: Comedy Double Feature

American comedians Harmon Leon and Troy Conrad deliver a satire double feature! Troy goes Inside the Decider as George W Bush giving an honest, truth serum soaked confessional with the honest version of his memoir, Decision Points. And, there's more! Harmon Leon takes you through twisted, edgy, innovative comedic satire…

Samantha's Hotline

Posh Chelsea lady whose husband left her in the midst of the recession turns to phone sex to make money, taking her clients on wild journeys where they become a cowboy, naughty school boy and filthy priest. This is set against her troubled life as an alcoholic. She argues with her adulterous husband and lies to her son…