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Choosing from reviews
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Choosing from reviews
Reviews in print
Reviews online

Reviews online

Satisfying though the printed word may be, it's unquestionably more convenient to read reviews on the web. If you have easy Internet access while you're in Edinburgh, make a trip to the online arts sections a part of your daily routine.  The Edinburgh festival scene has a broad and burgeoning independent online media, including, of course, FringeGuru; other great sites include FringeReview for theatre and Chortle for comedy.  Several of the major in-print reviewers also offer their opinions on their newspapers' websites - and in most cases these are free to access, though sometimes registration is required.

Keeping on top of all those websites is an impossible task, but there are a couple of alternative portals which helpfully pull it all together. One first port of call for online reviews is www.edinburgh-festivals.com, which carries reviews from the two major Edinburgh newspapers - The Scotsman and its sister paper the Edinburgh Evening News - bringing full show details and reviewers' thoughts together in a single place. You should bear in mind that you're only seeing a single reviewer's opinion, but that's a quibble: viewing even one out-of-five star rating right there alongside the listings is just downright handy.

For a broader view, you can also check out the Edinburgh Fringe's own website www.edfringe.com, which puts a summary of the reviews each show has attracted on the listing page. Coverage isn't that comprehensive and there's no way to search for reviews unless you're already thinking of a particular show, but it's still worth a check before you order your tickets - there might just be something there which changes your mind.

The Fringe website also gives you the chance to post your own short reviews on performances you've seen, and conversely to read the opinions of other members of the public. It's wide open to corruption (you'd be surprised how many shows sport multiple five-star reviews before they've even opened), but when a show hasn't yet attracted a "proper" reviewer, the audience vote can provide a useful warning. We don't like to be negative, but if enough people have hated a show enough to bother panning it online... you can be fairly sure you won't enjoy it either.

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