Wil Hodgson: Straight Outta Chippenham

Note: This review is from 2007

Review by Steve Bennett

Occasionally, you see comedians that send shivers down your spine.

Wil Hodgson is one of these rarities and not because of his outlandish appearance and fascination with true crime. He is utterly mesmerising – an impossible-to-pigeonhole mix of righteousness, absurdity and tenderness – and a punk in the true sense of the word.

Standing squarely in the spotlight, he spews out deadpan stories about kebab shop racism and the British National Party without pausing for breath or looking for approval. Describing himself as resembling ‘Winston Churchill in his lesbian period’, the mohicaned comic is fiercely intelligent, but never at the expense of a good, silly anecdote.

Hodgson moves easily from a tirade against the fluffily inane nostalgia of TV Top 100 shows to a hilarious story about his shattered illusions on meeting Roland Rat as a child.

He is political, but not with a capital P, preferring to illustrate his sharp observations through episodes from his life rather than a lecture. His take on feminism, for example, is displayed through a hilarious defence of Readers’ Wives and the memorable description of Paris Hilton as a ‘Ronsealed Toblerone’.

He is an excellent storyteller and conjures characters and scenarios with deadly accuracy and a pithy turn of phrase. It is all too easy to imagine the prison-tattooed drunk he meets in the pub or his first run-in with a skinhead.

Most importantly, Hodgson is very funny –his obvious passion for language, fiendishly fast brain and very strong sense of self are added bonuses.

While his hometown of Chippenham – seemingly a hotbed for the violent and criminally insane – does provide him with most of his material, the show’s title implies an hour of light-hearted, novelty Wiltshire mockery. Expect much, much more than that.

Reviewed by: Nione Meakin

Review date: 1 Jan 2007
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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