Wil Hodgson review - SkinnyFest 2

Article by Sam Friedman | 14 Aug 2006
One Best Newcomer nomination and a bundle of five-star reviews later, Wil Hodgson is still, inexplicably, playing to half-empty crowds. Tucked away in an oddball bar, the Holyrood Tavern, Hodgson's garish look and dull West Country drone have tonight attracted only a spattering of Fringe-goers, who look frankly horrified as he takes the stage.

Dressed characteristically in all black, pink Care Bear dangling from a studded belt, pink nail-polish on chubby fingers, pink makeup around the eyes, and the ubiquitous punk-pink mohawk, Hodgson's uninterested eyes ignore the modest crowd and settle instead on an unknown spot at the back of the theatre.

The Wil Hodgson Holiday Special, his new show, begins with a few rather predictable rants (Hodgson has a long, long list of irks) but soon returns to Hodgson's area of expertise, the Wiltshire town of Chippenham, where he is not only a resident, but the sharpest of social commentators. It is also here, the wonderfully described "man's town", that Hodgson stages tonight's hour-long story. He introduces us to his psychotic childhood friend, Robnoxious, long-time leader of what he calls the "red team" – Hodgson's group of primary school misfits who grow up in marginalised solidarity. It's unclear whether "Noxious" is real or simply a figment of Hodgson's imagination, but either way he's a fantastic character, the perfect crutch from which to spin an epic childhood yarn.

Staring blankly throughout, the beauty of Hodgson's stand-up is that he's never really looking for laughs. He's a captivating and relentless storyteller, and more than worthy of the meagre £6 admission fee.
The Wil Hodgson Holiday Special, until August 27, 20:00, £6.