Noel Fielding: ‘That first laugh – it’s magic time’

Noel Fielding
Noel Fielding

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Noel Fielding is one half of The Mighty Boosh, a team captain on the long-running BBC2 music quiz Never Mind The Buzzcocks, and the second series of his own show, Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy, recently finished airing on E4.

He’s currently on tour with his first solo show in five years, simply entitled: An Evening with Noel Fielding. Featuring his inimitable blend of stand-up, animation, music and appearances by some of his best-loved characters, it’s at Portsmouth Guildhall on Tuesday.

Have you missed performing live?

The problem with TV is that it takes years to make, and after a while you can’t remember what it’s like to tell a joke and get a laugh from it. The great thing about live comedy is that it cuts out the middle men – all those TV producers and directors. It takes out everything that gets in the way, so it’s just you and the audience.

Your style of comedy can be divisive. What would you say to people who aren’t fans?

Some people might think they’re allergic to you, but if they come to a live show and see everyone is laughing, it’s hard to say that it’s not funny. It was the same with the Boosh. Sceptics were convinced when they came to our shows. As a stand-up, you spend all day being nervous. But as soon as you step on to the stage and get the first laugh, it’s magic time. It’s like being in a dream. It’s a real buzz.”

What can folks expect from the show?

The first half is set in a cabaret club. Then I get kidnapped from my own show, and in the second half the rest of the characters have to find me. I’ll be playing other characters during the second half. It becomes like a play. It’s a sort of farce. That’s why I’ve called it An Evening with Noel Fielding because it’s not something I’d usually do, It’s more like something Barry Humphries would do.

Do you think your comedy ever goes too far ‘out there’?

I touch on turning 40 and my Peter Pan complex. Because I’m now 40, I try to do a bleak bit, but of course it soon becomes completely fantastical. I attempt to go gritty, but I can’t help going fantasy.

How are you coping with life on the road again?

You’re buzzing with adrenaline when you come off stage.

You have to do something with that, and it’s very hard not to go and get drunk. In the old days, we’d give the Rolling Stones a run for their money with our after-show behaviour. But now I’m in my 40s, I have to find new ways to calm myself down. Like Mick Jagger, I’ll have to get fit. After the show, Michael and I used to go drinking. This time we’ll have to go to mazes and local markets and drink peppermint tea.

Doors open 8pm. Tickets cost £25, from call 0844 847 2362.