Review by Graham Finney
“It’s like a scrabble board having a nervous breakdown” laughs Geordie comedian Ross Noble somewhere close to the end of the first half of his performance in front of a packed house at the York Grand Opera House and, given what has gone on for almost the whole of the last hour, I couldn’t have put it better myself.
To say Noble likes to go off on a tangent is something of an understatement as, for the first half of the show at least, the slightest thing sets the comedian careering off into completely unrelated subjects. From ghost cows to Scooby Doo to a risqué routine involving Gerard Depardieu and a midget, nothing seems out of bounds for the comic who seems to revel in the bemusement of his audience. A heckle from the crowd brings an equally risqué routine about Catholics while two latecomers to the show set Noble off with ten more minutes of what appears to be adlibbed banter. The first half ends with a short story about a train journey and his family a routine which appears to be the closest to any form of structure throughout the first hour of the show.
The second half of the show sees Noble take a more settled approach with the majority of the second hour spent recalling how he’d annoyed Olly Murs, got heckled on the Great Northern Run and terrified a hotel waiter after drenching his “downstairs” in Deep Heat. Of course, there are plenty of times when something sends the show spinning in a different direction be it a persistent heckler or a thought that just comes into his head but, somehow, Noble keeps things just about under control managing to stop things from veering into two hours of pure unbridled chaos.
Opening the night up to questions from the audience results in one heckler being put firmly in his place by the Geordie before two brilliant hours of surreal comedy comes careering to an end with Noble telling what is possibly the only “joke” of the night. The joke puts a perfect full stop on the end of an superb evening that words quite simply cannot do justice to!
If you get chance then check out this brilliant show on one of the remaining dates of the tour because, on the evidence of tonight, anything could happen! You can find all the dates here