'This isn't comedy, this is a cry for help' | The Big Ask: What is the worst review you have ever had?

'This isn't comedy, this is a cry for help'

The Big Ask: What is the worst review you have ever had?

'This isn't comedy, this is a cry for help' Three Weeks, 2013 Charmian Hughes, Bra Trek, Counting House Attic, 15:35

A play I brought up here when I was starting out. A one star two line review. Explained the plot then followed the synopsis with these words: 'Who cares?' Brett Goldstein, What Is Love Baby Don't Hurt Me, Pleasance Beneath, 19:00

That one where the guy called me a Tory. He seemed to just really want to hate me because I'm posh. Tom Houghton, The Honourable Tom Houghton, Pleasance Jack Dome, 20:10

The first time I had a review at the Edinburgh Fringe. Some poor soul, how can I put this? shat himself when the show was about to start. The room was tiny and very warm, not the best conditions to watch a show while someone has defecated in the back row. We emptied the room, I had a panic cry in the store room as I knew a reviewer was in. I took out the chair and sprayed the room with Charlie Red (which is not much better). The room was full of tropic themed inflatables and cheap body spray and the faint smell of waste, It was like a very depressing club 18-30 holiday. After all that hoopla I had a half an hour to do the show. In fairness to the reviewer he was fair and nice, but it was a horrible experience of being reviewed. Alison Spittle, Worrier Princess, Gilded Balloon Teviot, 17:15

'Rebecca looks as though she's lives a thousand lives, all of them exhausting' Rebecca Humphries, Prom Kween, Assembly George Square, 21:05

'One can only hope there's some kind of catastrophe around the corner for Lexx.' That's nice, isn't it? Real personal. Laura Lexx, Trying, Gilded Balloon, 17:15

Did a sketch show once by mistake. The Metro reviewer hated it so much she insisted it got half a page and a colour photo in the print edition. The editor called us the night before to warn us. I still have it somewhere, we really upset that woman, to her very core. I couldn't stop laughing. If something so trivial had upset me that much I would be embarrased to admit it let alone print it in a newspaper. She was right, it was an absolute load of rubbish but get a sense of perspective. Garrett Millerick, Sunflower, Tron, 17:00

Some little shit who was two years below me at school was reviewing for some dross publication called something like 'fringewalrus.nz' and deliberately waited behind after my show to say 'Sorry mate, but it's three stars from me'. Rob Oldham, Worm's Lament, Pleasance Courtyard, 21:30

The projector stopped working when I had a very projector-heavy show - and the review didn’t mention that at all. I think they just assumed the projector breaking was a weird theatrical technique. Ian Smith, Craft, Underbelly: Buttercup, 17:15

'A man walked towards me during my show saying, 'I feel sick I need to leave' Lucy Pearman, Fruit Loop, Monkey Barrel, 18:30

One Star - The List 2016. I'm ashamed to say that I know this is also the review that comes up first if you Google "Matthew Highton Review". To be fair to them that show wasn't my best, I was working through stuff... Matthew Highton, Insufficient Memory, Heroes at Dragonfly, 20:40

The Grandees, my old sketch group received a 1 star saying the only jokes we had were about poo and wee. Which was true, and I still think poo and wee is funny, so up yours whoever that was. Marny Godden, Marny Town, The Hive, 18:20

A one-star review of my old show The Sitcom Trials.'I'd have happily gouged my own eyes with hot spoons rather than endure another moment.' We put that up outside the box office, it doubled the audience from then on. Who wouldn't want to see that show? Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre, Superheroes, Gilded Balloon, 22:30

'I love absurdism, but this didn’t make any sense.' John Luke Roberts, All I Wanna Do Is [FX: GUNSHOTS] With a [FX: GUN RELOADING] and [FX: CASH REGISTER] and Perform Some Comedy!, Assembly: Studio Five, 17:30

'I did a comedy play called Plumpy'nut with Adam Larter in 2013. I was dressed a pig for the whole time and Adam was dressed variously as a cat, a farmer, a policeman - among other things. I can't remember the publication, but one quote was, 'It's clear these two are just up at the fringe to get laid."' I'm single now and have not once thought about dressing up as a pig again. Ali Brice, Ali Brice's Lemonade Stand, The Hive, 14:30

'I hated this show and Luke Rollason was the worst example of everything I hated about it'. Audience review, 2015. In this show I played the role of a table. Luke Rollason, Luke Rollason's Planet Earth, Monkey Barrel Comedy Club, 14:30

We took up an abysmal adaptation of the restoration comedy The Country Wife in 2016 and got an entirely justified galaxy of 1 star reviews - too many to single one out. Will Dalrymple, Pity Laughs: A Tale Of Two Gays, Just Up The Stairs @ Just The Tonic, 16:05

'Everybody has to start somewhere' - 1.5 stars. It was something about that extra half a star, the precision of the insult. Try telling someone they're your third least favourite person and see if they appreciate the precision. Rob Carter, I Spy With My Little Eye Something Beginning With Why Have You Been Sleeping With My Wife: a play by Christopher Bliss, Pleasance 10 Dome, 19:00

Definitely Chortle, in an eloquent and brutal piece of dream-shattering prose (including the scythe-like phrase "Finally the show is over") which reached deep into my past and ripped out the heart of 25 years as an actor. We are grateful to Chortle for keeping standards high. The same show got 5 stars the next day. Go figure. Nathan Lang, The Stuntman, Just The Tonic @ The Caves, 14:45

Someone once tweeted that my first show was 0.5 stars. They didn't write for a publication. Just on their own Twitter. What a guy. Robin Morgan, Honeymoon, The Pear Tree, 16:00.

Published: 9 Aug 2018

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