This article is from 2006.
In a circuit engorged with empty observations, madcap characterisations and hilarious magicians, the individual voice is sometimes lost among the comedic white noise. Wil Hodgson’s Chippenham burr comes through loud and bloody clear. He has admitted that this year’s show may bring the curtain down on the type of Fringe shows he has performed to cult acclaim since 2004, the familiar source material given different twists and turns along the way. Though his ugly-beautiful Holiday Special takes one immediate new road: singing. But fret not, Wil hasn’t transmogrified into some manufactured Pop Idol sub-reject, instead bookending the show by belting out punk paeans to raggedy dolls and Heathcliff.
Once the opening anarcho-cabaret number is done, Hodgson launches into one compelling, mesmerising hour of musings about his home town (it still doesn’t sound any better) and his childhood pal who hated Wogan, loved a merciless God and harboured a mild fetish for air pistols. As the story develops and dips towards an inevitably morbid conclusion, Hodgson has us in the kind of vice-like grip which a local skinhead used on him while telling a dire 9/11 joke. Quite what Hodgson will do next is anyone’s guess but where he is now is on top of his game. (Brian Donaldson)
Holyrood Tavern, 556 5044, until 27 Aug, 2pm, 8pm, £6.