‘Maestro’ turns out to be an apt title for this solo show from Kieran Hodgson; not particularly because of his fascination with Gustav Mahler (What kind of subject is that for a comedy show?), but because of his total mastery of the art of comic story-telling. In this tale of his early struggles with life, love and classical music he never puts a foot, or even a toe, wrong in this multi-layered and ingenious piece of theatrical performance. The story moves backwards and forwards in time and place. It includes tips on classical composition, occasionally accompanied on violin; failed schoolboy crushes; failed adult crushes; and an enormous cast of characters with different ages, genders and accents. But this is not a laugh-a-minute show. No. Gags visual, verbal and musical come roughly every other second, the different characters dissected with side-splitting accuracy, amid a constant rain of killingly witty asides. Not a moment goes wasted in this cleverly constructed and masterfully executed piece. It manages to be poignant, warm, humane and actually uplifting; as well as achingly funny. This is comedy with heart at its very best.
***** – 5 Stars
John Christopher Wood