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Wil Hodgson: Punkanory

Note: This review is from 2010

Review by Marissa Burgess

Performing his seventh consecutive solo show at the Fringe this year – the first won him the Perrier newcomer award in 2004 - Hodgson has become something of an institution.

It’s reassuring that amid the Fringe craziness that there’s a room somewhere in town where you can go and listen to the world according to the idiosyncratic Hodgson. And a beguiling world it is.

For those not in the know (where have you been?) he’s a comic with leftie sensibilities: a feminist who celebrates the female form in all its wonderful variations in size or age, he’s a skinhead but what hair he does sport is pink, he has armfuls of Care Bear tattoos and is a resident of Chippenham, Wiltshire, who despises a small-town frame of mind.

Today there are further tales of the above but in particular the show focuses on his collections; he has Care Bears, My Little Ponies, Spice Girls memorabilia, oh and a cat to perturb any nosy people who go poking about the sofa where his Care Bears live. To one side of the stage he has a soapbox on which to physically stand when he feels the metaphorical need to mount it.

As well celebrating his own memorabilia, Hodgson poignantly recalls the meticulously and lovingly assembled collection of an another local character who died, leaving his precious items of fandom and pretty much nothing else. He also divulges the whereabouts of a spectacular car boot sale in Edinburgh where he almost, but not quite, bought a flintlock pistol.

As ever, his ideas are inventive and invested with a beautiful turn of phrase, where else would you hear parallels drawn between Care Bear land Care-a-Lot and Stalin’s regime?

It has to be said that there’s something of the religious service about the small, quiet crowd sat beneath the stone arches of the Caves on a weekday afternoon listening to Hodgson’s sermon; a passionate diatribe by a man genuinely enthusiastic about his subjects. Amen to that.

Review date: 18 Aug 2010
Reviewed by: Marissa Burgess

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