EDINBURGH festival audiences have been warned to avoid anything that critics have tepidly praised with a four-star review.
As the city’s festival of performance and narcissism begins, researchers claimed that a moderately warm four star review indicated something not worthwhile, yet sufficiently pretentious that reviewers are scared to slag it off.
Professor Henry Brubaker of the Institute for Studies said: “Critics are a bovine bunch of idiots, and four stars is the universally-accepted code for ‘I don’t really like this but I feel afraid’.
“A typical four star show will feature a bunch of tall youths making fart noises, but the stage will be designed to look like a massive television.
“It’s what your mum would call ‘a bit different’.”
He added: “You’re better off with a one-star show if you want to see something genuinely uncomfortable, or a three-star show for slickly reliable telly-style ‘industrial comedy’ about household gadgets.
Professor Brubaker claims that four-star film and performance does not exist: “Quantum of Solace is a good example of a ‘four star’ film. It has a convincing veneer of being quite good, but it is shit.”