Kieran Hodgson: Maestro (4 stars)

A solo act who hits all the right comedic notes

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Richard Gadd: Monkey See Monkey Do

Last year it was Lance Armstrong, this time around Gustav Mahler. But in Kieran Hodgson's hands, he's not interested in mere hagiography, instead such towering cultural figures are the trigger for personal reflections on love, loneliness and a yearning for acceptance. In 2015 Hodgson got on his bike for Lance, while in Maestro, he picks up a violin in the often painful tale of how he attempted to pen a four-movement symphony (which he comically compares to a really big pizza) to commemorate the four main players in his love-life throughout his adolescent and adult years. Sadly, he is often just being strung along

We first meet him as the young Kieran, a prodigious and uber-swotty 11-year-old who is at school to impress teachers rather than any prospective partners, but love interests (of both genders) finally float his way. Still, despite the burgeoning passions at play, Hodgson is a sensible (and slightly uptight) middle-class lad at heart. He hosts a house party but is determined to 'keep a lid on people's fun' while his unwavering sense of social responsibility becomes disastrously compromised when he rides the Paris public transport system without a valid ticket solely to impress a seductive Frenchwoman who cares not a jot for him.

Mahler himself makes several appearances, though Hodgson chooses to have him voiced by actors such as David Tennant and Andrew Scott, perhaps purely as a means of showcasing his superlative powers of mimicry (is there anything that this guy cannot do?).

Hodgson was formerly a core member of the perfectly serviceable Kieran & The Joes sketchy narrative group, but now he's carved out a Fringe role for himself as a must-see solo act. After Maestro, it will be fascinating to see what he has up his sleeve for an encore.

Voodoo Rooms, until 28 Aug, 9.30pm, free.

Kieran Hodgson: Maestro

  • 4 stars

Thirteen years after he heard the music of Gustav Mahler and vowed to write a symphony, two-time Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee Hogdson takes to the stage with his trusty violin for a deeply personal and touching show in which he embraces his status as the kind of loser, who writes classical music instead of playing…

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