Live Review: Ross Noble

Monday 8 April 2013

Live Review: Ross Noble

Mindblender may sound like the latest test-your-brain quiz game to sit atop the App Store’s free chart but it is also a fairly accurate way to describe the inner workings of “shit-your-pants-funny”* Geordie stand-up comic Ross Noble.

No stranger to Australian shores for both business and pleasure – anecdotes about life with his Aussie wife are a staple of any Noble show – Noble has been bringing the laughs Down Under with a new spectacle almost nearly every year for more than a decade. After taking some time off after his last show Nonsensory Overload to “produce a small human” and make his feature film debut as the lead character in Stitches (a horror movie centred around a zombie birthday clown) Mindblender sees Noble back doing to what he does best, talking bollocks in front of a live audience.

A Ross Noble performance is not really something you could ever successfully recount in type – a master of improvisation, at least 90 per cent of any show is based off of audience heckles, local trivia and the excuses of late arriving audience members. Whether it’s the efforts of an audience member to discretely duck to the loo or creating laughs from the couple who arrived after the interval because they ran over a dog (this actually happened), Noble picks it up and runs with it, following stories onto tangents that leave you simultaneously wondering, “How did we get here?” and “How is this man so hilarious?”

As Noble himself says, “I sometimes follow ideas to places they shouldn’t go and… sometimes we end up in Weirdsville.” As it turns out, Weirdsville can involve anything from Bruce Willis and Patrick Swayze entering the stage via the space-time continuum; Noble leading the female members of the audience in a mass pelvic floor exercise routine, or even in-depth discussions on the best way to kill a Dialect (apparently pissing on them should work).

Although Noble’s material varies greatly from show to show, there are a few points that remain true. The music (courtesy of Oompah Brass) will amuse you, the set will wow you and you will laugh your arse off! Oh, and if you’ve got front row tickets and you don’t want to become a star of the show, best be in your seat a good hour before the show starts, just to be safe!

If you haven’t already caught Ross on his Mindblender tour, check him out as he makes his way through Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria throughout April.

*Sincere apologies to anyone who wasn’t at Noble’s show at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre on Saturday night and does not get that reference. On second thought, it’s probably still an accurate description for some.

- Amelia Parrott