REVIEW: Ross Noble, Guildhall, Portsmouth

Ross Noble                                        Picture: Andy Hollingworth
Ross Noble Picture: Andy Hollingworth
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“If anyone’s reviewing this show, could they not mention that bit?”, asked a nervous-sounding Ross Noble, fearing he might have overstepped the mark in a post-Charlie Hebdo world.

But even that earned laughter for one of Britain’s most original comic talents.

From a stage set looking like a neon-green ebola virus invasion, Noble displayed a vivid imagination, voicing random thoughts as his mind seemed to leap around in crazy, sometimes self-indulgent, but often bizarrely-funny tangents.

Noble gives the impression that even he has no idea where the show is going, as he flits from one idea to another - most of the first half was seemingly inspired by him seeing a feather float down from the ceiling.

At one moment, as he lay on the floor mimicing a sexually aroused owl, he declared, seemingly amazed: “This is my job!”

Full of charm, he riffed with audience members, keen not to offend, and cheekily blaming potential misunderstandings on our own dirty minds.

So we had sexy owls, religious fanatics singing George Formby songs, pants of mice, and weird theories about creation involving half-evolved cows with whale tails spouting milk through their blowholes… (you had to be there!)

There was also a wickedly funny impression of TV’s Coast presenter Neil Oliver, whom he resembles.

For me, one of the funniest sequences involved choosing which Bee Gees song to sing when encountering someone needing resuscitation..

He made friends with the audience, being fascinated with our “Out of City” signs suggesting a hasty exit, and said the notices should read “Portsmouth - home of hysterical women”.

In Ross Noble’s world, anything could happen…