SCOTTISH independence. Gaelic. The Scottish Premiership. Sitcoms. Arnold Clark. All of these have one thing in common – they all come up during Kieran Hodgson’s Edinburgh Fringe show Big In Scotland.

In 2020, the comedian and actor’s world was turned upside down as he swapped London for Glasgow and looked to change from “English Kieran” to “Scottish Kieran” as he puts it himself.

Throughout his brilliant, one-man, one-hour show Hodgson asks a series of near impossible-to-answer questions.

What is Scotland? What does it mean to be Scottish, or at the very least fit in when you’re an Englishman who has just moved north of the Border?  

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There are impressions, there’s storytelling, and he even bursts into song at one point.

‘More like a one-act play’

To describe Hodgson’s show as a mere comedy act feels like doing it something of a disservice.

It’s more akin to a one-act play in which Yorkshire-born Hodgson plays a vast array of characters which include a spot-on Gordon Brown impression, Two Doors Down colleague Elaine C Smith, a disgruntled Highland barkeeper, an over-enthusiastic Gaelic teacher and a minor royal.

It might seem ambitious to include so much in such a short space of time, and some elements naturally land more than others (the Gordon Brown impression is a particular highlight), but on the whole Hodgson (pictured below) keeps everyone captivated for the entire hour.

The National:

It would be natural to think that a show about an Englishman’s impression of Scotland, and all the stereotypes Hodgson goes into could come across as a little gimmicky – as perhaps fun but as nothing particularly original.

But Hodgson’s awareness of his own position, and by making himself the butt of every joke, means any of those worries are quickly dispelled.

It’s a hilariously and thoughtfully written piece on where Scotland is at this moment in time, and what others think it means to be Scottish. 

Why is it that the main football league essentially has two teams? Why do we use certain words and phrases that nobody else does?

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They're not questions Hodgson answers because that’s not really the point, it’s simply about his journey and the things he picked up along the way.

It doesn’t dive too deep into the political world, with Scotland’s place in the Union only briefly mentioned during a particularly enjoyable exchange between Hodgson and Elaine C. Smith (with the comedian playing both roles).


It would be no surprise to see the show sold-out for the remainder of its run at the Fringe as the comedian takes a topic it would be easy to get wrong and manages to get everything so right.

Kieran Hodgson is indeed Big In Scotland. And it’s easy to see why.