Kieran Hodgson: Maestro

Simultaneously one of the funniest and most heart-warming acts at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, Kieran Hodgson is not to be missed. In Maestro, he tells of his ten-year effort to write a symphony, starting at the tender and precocious age of 13, after being inspired by his musical hero, the Austrian composer Gustav Mahler. Mahler famously said that “the symphony must contain the world”, and Hodgson’s set is symphonic in its universality, encompassing a full breadth of emotions as he recounts his life story through the lens of his attempt to complete his own composition.

His anecdotes are hilariously relatable and astute, describing the follies of others and of the self in the blundering world of adolescence and young adulthood

A self-proclaimed ‘young, idealistic snob’, the young Hodgson talks of his romantic hopes and dreams being raised and then dashed, with four different loves each inspiring a different movement of the symphony, which he helpfully and hilariously illustrates on his violin. His anecdotes are hilariously relatable and astute, describing the follies of others and of the self in the blundering world of adolescence and young adulthood.

Hodgson, who is a fantastic storyteller, fills his show with hilarious one-liners, in addition to fantastic impersonations of the people, living and dead, from his story. He’s confidently self-deprecating, leaving the audience in stitches as he speaks of using Sprechgesang (operatically alternating between song and speech) as a seduction technique, and at his absolute fear of ever being a rule breaker. His endearing Englishness, with all the quaintness and repression that comes along with it, is turned into a comedy weapon that engaged the audience’s pathos. Hodgson transports the crowd along with him, resulting on this night in a well-deserved standing ovation at the end of the show.

Maestro is fantastic coming-of-age show that will be relatable for anyone who was a bit of a misfit growing up. Hodgson has just made himself the pioneering figurehead for all of those young classical music geeks. Hodgson is an intelligent, versatile and achingly funny talent to watch out for.

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

In 2003 Kieran Hodgson heard the music of Gustav Mahler and decided to write a symphony. 13 years later Kieran returns to the Fringe with a violin and a story about falling in love and attempting something far beyond your abilities. A brand new show from character comedian and 2015 Fosters Comedy Award Nominee. As seen on BBC One's We're Doomed!: The Dad's Army Story and Upstart Crow. Guardian’s No.1 Comedy show of 2015. ***** (Guardian). **** (Telegraph, Sunday Times, Scotsman, Time Out).