Review: Ross Noble at the Ipswich Regent

FAIRLY early on, my companion leaned over to say to me: “He’s not right, is he?”

ROSS NOBLE; Nonsensory Tour, Ipswich Regent, last night

FAIRLY early on, my companion leaned over to say to me: “He’s not right, is he?”

She was spot on. Ross Noble is very definitely ‘not right’ which is the thing that makes him one of the most original comedians working today.

To say he steps on to the stage without a script would be an understatement; beyond “Hello (insert venue name here)” he is completely off the cuff.

In his mellifluous Geordie accent, he sets off on a voyage of blissful nonsense. Sometimes you are a passenger with him, occasionally you’re left on the shore wondering where he’s gone off to.

“Sometimes I might follow an idea to a slightly odd place,” he told us, just in case we weren’t sure.

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When he hits the spot he is irresistible and within minutes had one woman in the front row totally helpless with laughter sparked by a rendition of Tom Jones’s classic It’s Not Unusual which was, ahem, very unusual indeed.

He is very much a performer who responds to his crowd and his gift to us was a lengthy show which left us with a vision of Susan Boyle which will be difficult to erase from the mind’s eye and an interpretation of the military salute which would, if adopted by the Army, give Trooping the Colour a whole new dynamic.

He has a tradition where during the interval people will leave objects on the stage from which he can fashion at least parts of the second half of the show.

This time he managed to spend 25-odd minutes on a medical leaflet dealing with a cancer which only men can get, which to my mind went on for about 15 minutes longer than was amusing.

If he has a weakness then this is it; taking an idea and not just running with it but flogging it to death just in case there is another laugh that can be extracted from the corpse.

But in general his skittering flights of fancy are great fun. Have you ever had your iPhone rendered useless by a stickleback flung on to it by a mermaid? Thought not.

But then you may well be a Googlephonium user instead, in which case you’ll probably only have trouble with those dwarves who don’t like to dress as ewoks when the mercury hits 30C.

Nonsense? Yes, complete and utter nonsense, but completely and utterly inspired.

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