Poll: Should we drop stars from reviews? | Have your say

Poll: Should we drop stars from reviews?

Have your say

Should Chortle award stars for its reviews at this year's Edinburgh Fringe?

Editor Steve Bennett has previously raised the issue at the end of last year’s festival, suggesting it was time they should be dropped.

But now it's over to you. Have your say in our poll, and we'll publish the results next Friday - and it'll help us decide what to do.

We think the options are:

CONTINUE WITH THE STARS AS THEY ARE

After all, everyone knows the system, and it's a quick way of rating the shows into the good and the bad, especially when faced with hundreds of shows at the festival. Life's too short to read every review – we're in the age of bite-sized information goddammit, just give me the score!

But it's far from standard – with every publication keen for the retweets that will drive traffic, the system is prone to inflation, since a three-star review is unlikely to be shared. And is a 5* from The Times, say, the same as 5* from FringeFerret.wix.com? No, but judging from the star-spangled posters, you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference. Maybe stars are effectively meaningless.

CONTINUE WITH STARS, BUT ALLOW HALF-STARS

One drawback of the stars are that it's a very imprecise system – the three-star category is especially broad, spanning from shows that just mss out on being an active recommendation, to those that narrowly escape being condemned as flawed.

Would allowing further degradations to the system help make decisions? Or is it messy and smacking of compromise - is a 3 1/2 star show recommended or not?

DITCH THEM

Shows – and what are hopefully considered considered reviews – shouldn't be reduced to a blunt mark out of five. Reading the write-up should tell you if you're going to like the show and how much the critic is raving about it.

We'd highlight the best shows under some sort of 'Fringe must-see' banner with this system – but shouldn't the reviews speak for themselves? If it 'reads like a four', to cite a cliche of acts given three-star reviews, you might want to check it out regardless of the blunt mark…

So here's your chance to have a say! And we'd also like to know your role, whether punter, comic or industry, to see if there's any differences between the groups.

Published: 29 May 2015

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