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Wil Hodgson
Published on Sunday, 14 August 2011

3 stars

The Stand Comedy Club III & IV (venue website)
4 Aug, 3:30pm-4:30pm; 5-14, 16-28 Aug, 3:35pm-4:35pm
Reviewed by Mathilda Gregory

 Recommended for age 14+ only.

Wil Hodgson has tattoos, a goatee beard and a barrel-shaped body.  That seems quite a personal place to start, and in fact Hodgson does talk about being sensitive about his body image; but there is something so arresting about Hodgson’s physical presence, that it’s hard not to talk about it.

That aside, his comedy takes inspiration from his grandfather’s career in the police, 70s and 80s youth culture and his own misadventures as a big bloke with a sensitive side. He’s also genuinely informative. He has one particular soapbox in his act about the skinhead culture and its appropriation as a symbol of racism, and he makes a strong – if depressing – case that many youth cultures have also had their horrible extremes.

Hodgson is so likeable and affable that it’s almost like talking to a friend in the pub. Stand-up comedy might have its roots in funny conversation, but it does need a little bit more to make it a performance. Hodgson makes no allowances for the fact he is standing on a stage and speaking into a microphone. As he twists his arms and shows us his various tattoos it feels like a casual meeting with someone interesting, but I wish he’d be more of a showman.

Hodgson is wonderfully smart and genuinely insightful, but his straightforward delivery of a funny, chatty monologue is crying out for more theatricality.

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