IN 2003 Kieran Hodgson decided to write a symphony after hearing the music of Gustav Mahler.
Thirteen years later, Kieran returned with a violin and a story about falling in love and attempting something far beyond his abilities.
Maestro is the highly anticipated follow up to his Foster’s Comedy Award nominated show, Lance, and was one of the most talked about shows of the 2016 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, seeing Kieran nominated for the lastminute.com Edinburgh Comedy Award.
This new hour of comedy traces Kieran’s musical roots as he attempts to conduct a symphony, and you can see the true tale in the Dixon Studio at Southend’s Palace Theatre on Thursday, May 11.
Catching up with Kieran on a rare home based day, he said: "I always thought of myself as a bit of a composer, and have been trying to write a symphony.
"It’s a true story so I have been writing the music far too long.
"My comedian style is lots of different characters and I put them all into a story – a one man show.
"The main character is me and each time I try and write a bit of my symphony. One me is as a teenager, an awful little twerp falling in love with a girl and one is me at college as an older twerp. Other characters include my loves, my friends and the composer, Gustav Maker, who pops up every now and again.
"I have a violin on stage to demonstrate the things I am composing. If I was cooler I would have had a guitar."
As well as playing the violin, Kieran also learnt to play the piano but, unfortunately, he is now a bit rusty as his parents got rid of it when he left home. But music and comedy are not his only achievements as he is also a writer, actor and radio regular.
He starred in Nick Mohammed’s hit show Mr Swallow: Houdini! at the Edinburgh Fringe, reprising his role of Jonathan Harker after taking part in the sell-out Dracula! (Mr Swallow: the Musical) in 2014, and in the role of Ian Lavender in BBC 2’s single drama We’re Doomed! The Dad’s Army Story alongside John Sessions, Kevin Bishop and Sally Phillips, which had BBC2’s biggest audience for a single drama of 2015.
Kieran also had a guest role in BBC 2’s Ben Elton–penned Shakespearean sitcom, Upstart Crow; appeared in BBC’s Jonathan Creek and Count Arthur Strong, E4’s Drifters and Siblings, and the box office smash Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa; is a Radio 4 regular, appearing in shows such as Newsjack, Decline and Fall, and The Barchester Chronicles; and is also a very talented writer who has television projects in development with Guilty Party Pictures/Channel 4, Merman and Kudos.
Kieran said: "I feel very lucky that I can do lots of things and am not waiting at home for the phone to ring."
While this tour has not been flat out, but in actual fact "little bursts of shows", Kieran says that being on the road gives him an opportunity to explore.
"I like seeing towns and exploring and looking at the castle, the river, the bridge," he said.
"The worst thing about touring is the first five minutes, that’s when the audience is new to you and you are new to them and it can go anyway. That’s the bit I dread..
"With touring you never know how it’s going to go."
So what should the audience at Palace Theatre expect next Thursday?
"I think they should come, not expecting stand up but a comic story, " Kieran said. "I narrate you through so they won’t be lost at sea. I am a narrator of my own life."
For further information and tickets to see Kieran Hodgson’s Maestro, at Palace Theatre, on May 11, visit https://southendtheatres.org.uk/ or call the box office on 01702 351135.