Keiran Hodgson ‘75’ Review

PUBLISHED: 16:11 15 March 2019 | UPDATED: 16:14 15 March 2019

Kieran Hodgson credit: Gaby Jerrard PR

Kieran Hodgson credit: Gaby Jerrard PR

Gaby Jerrard PR

Character-comedian Keiran Hodgson’s 75, presents a hilarious whistle-stop tour of Britain’s tempestuous history with its closest neighbour, told by the political figures that helped shape it.

It is also one of the most astute, and gut-bustingly funny, comments on our current political climate I have heard, and with the UK set to leave the EU in a matter of days, it seems like the perfect time for a show exploring how this egregious fustercluck came to pass in the first place, and 75, which stopped off at Bristol’s 1532 performing arts centre on Saturday, does just that.

Opening, the day after the Brexit referendum, remain-voting Hodgson takes a trip to his parents only to find that his mother voted to leave.

After a heated exchange between the two, Hodgson is left aghast, and full of questions? How could his, surprisingly stereotypical, northern mum vote to leave the EU? How could this one vote have driven them apart so easily?

In a hunt for answers, Hodgson turns to an astute German librarian in a dark corner of his local library creating a rather clever framing device and further reading in one brilliant stroke.

Hodgson’s gift for impersonation is only matched by his love of the ridiculous. With each major turning point in Britain’s post-war relationship with Europe recreated in the silliest way possible.

Highlights included Charles de Gaule’s as played by Ru Paul telling Britain they should ‘sashay away’, Ted Heath winning over Georges Pompidou, portrayed as a nervous French child, by playing some Bach, and Enoch Powell and Roy Jenkins debating staying in the single market using the metaphor of breakfast options.

Hodgson also touched on the dangers of hero worship, admitting that when the historical abuse allegations against his personal hero, Hume came to light, he realised that it is dangerous to over-identify with a historical figure, and that he may be the kind of out of touch elitist snob that his mother accused him of being during their argument that kicked off the show.

Ending with the run-up to the 1975 referendum which saw the UK remain in the common market, Hodgson came to realise that the Europe question would always be there and that Brexit was nothing new at all. That the whole debate is in fact ‘a geopolitical Tinky-Winky, going ‘Again! Again! After a cracking turn as Dimbleby and Harold Wilson on the eve of the vote in 1975, the show ends with Hodgson returning to the present to make up with his mother, who had forgotten the argument anyway,

Ultimately, the message or lesson if there is one, behind 75 is a simple one – we need to reach out, respect others opinions, and remember there is more that ultimately more unites than divides us.

There is nothing new in it, but considering the omnishambles that political discourse has become of late, one a lot of people, including those in Parliament, could do with remembering.

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