The disgustingly talented Kieran Hodgson is back at the Fringe, after providing some of our favourite shows of the last few years (Lance in 2015 and Maestro in 2016). ‘75 is a typically complicated show; it’s concerned with Brexit and decades of political maneuvering around the Europe question, but also the divisions the Leave vote opened up between friends and family. After a horrible argument with his mum, Hodgson is inspired to learn more about the circumstances that led us to join Europe in the first place. Hodgson tells the story by flitting seamlessly between impressions of dead politicians like Harold Wilson and Roy Jenkins that can be bang-on accurate, or if not, wildly bizarre.
While there are serious points to be made on his topic of choice, ‘75 is rammed with jokes. In fact, there are almost too many, which is a decent problem to have; Hodgson calls the show ‘overambitious’ in the Fringe programme and that’s a fair description. The complexity of the subject matter can be overwhelming, as Hodgson tries to draw conclusions from an argument that has been raging for decades now. Sooner or later, though, it all comes back to Hodgson, whose best jokes take aim at himself and his family.
‘75 is a fast-paced political history lesson that I’m pretty sure the audience would have happily watched for more than an hour. It’s a show about Brexit that manages to be inclusive, clever and funny at the same time.