Frank Skinner.

Frank Skinner's play gets Fringe 2018's first review rainbow

Frank Skinner's debut play Nina's Got News has managed to attract the 2018 Fringe's first "review rainbow" - getting ratings of 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 stars.

Although the festival only officially began on Friday 3rd August, Nina's Got News, a play about a woman with some news to impart and whether her friends are willing to believe it, began performing on 1st August at the Pleasance Dome venue.

Possibly because of its star name author it has quickly attracted a relatively large number of reviews, thus becoming one of the fastest review rainbows achieved at any Fringe.

However, the play is not faring well with critics, and the majority of reviews have erred toward the lower end of the scale.

Out of the nine rated reviews so far collected, four of them have awarded only one star. Since 2010 when British Comedy Guide started comprehensively recording Fringe reviews, we cannot recall seeing a show with such poor reception so quickly. The Times, The Stage, Time Out and Voice, which publishes reviews by younger writers, all critiqued it poorly.

The show's reception is also bad news for the BBC, whose arts division set up the "Debut" scheme with production company Avalon, under which Skinner penned the play. The scheme was seen as controversial by some as it helped already established talent such as Skinner - although not previously a playwright - rather than fostering exclusively new creative talent.

The play has however also attracted more positive support, with the website Entertainment Focus giving it the highest possible rating of 5 stars, and Edinburgh Festivals magazine 4 stars. For a full list of the play's reviews, see its listing.

Aside from Nina's Got News, three other plays were commissioned by the Debut scheme: Sitting by Katherine Parkinson, which has yet to be reviewed; and the dramas Diamond by Beryl Richards, and Hoard by Bim Adewunmi, the latter of which was cancelled before opening, for reasons unknown.


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