Kieran Hodgson's '75: The Single Most Brilliant Thing Anyone's Said About Brexit?
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Kieran Hodgson is such a master craftsman of one-man shows that make you howl with laugher one second, sob the next — he can probably rattle them off in his head while acting in Two Doors Down.
But while Lance and Maestro plumbed the depths of an outcast childhood in Holmfirth, you wonder if '75 — a decades-deep rootle into the genesis of Britain's masochistic affair with Europe — will be up to code. Since mid-2016, the comedy vultures have hungrily feasted on the flesh of Brexit, so how much can be left dangling on the ribs by now? You also worry that Hodgson's nostalgic forays might get lost in the politically-charged melee.
Turns out there's no need to fear on either count. '75 is another frantic hour of gripping genius: a childhood Hodgson melts into Thatcher, who becomes Edward Heath, who becomes Ru Paul. Hodgson could make a cosy living as an impressionist; instead the voices are mere devices in a dizzyingly brilliant script that's always two strides ahead and may well jolt you into you reappraising your own judgements, ricocheting off the echo-chamber walls.
Maybe the sheer power of '75 is best evidenced by an Enoch Powell who earns both pantomime boos and a thunder of applause. The chats with Hodgson's Leave-voting mum are delicate as the best china tea cups, and so well-layered, you forget this chap on stage is talking to himself.
Oh, by the way, obvious Brexit gags = 0.
Funny enough to crack a smile from even our beleaguered PM? Yes. But '75 might also be the single-most intelligent thing anyone's ever said about Brexit. Soho Theatre should post out a couple of tickets to Number 10.
Kieran Hodgson: '75, Soho Theatre. Tickets from 17, until 2 February
Last Updated 22 March 2019