King of the absurd and wizard of the comedy world, Ross Noble is bringing his hotly anticipated new show Brain Dump to the Adelaide Fringe between the 8th and 13th of March. GLAM was lucky enough to have a chat with the extremely successful, but entirely humble, Ross about his fascinating style of comedy, why Adelaide is a party and which tangent he’ll be drifting off to next.
From his unicycle days in primary school, to sold-out arena shows around the world, Ross Noble has become the hero of improvisation in his 25 year career. In his early years, Noble was terrible at school and did anything to avoid it, including busking, clowning at kid’s parties and almost joining the circus. But winning tickets to a local comedy show solidified his future, “I’d never been to the Edinburgh Festival, there was no festivals in the city I was from. So I went to see this show when I was 14 and instantly I went, ‘that’s what I want to do!’”
After his first stand-up at 15, shows snowballed for Noble, winning awards at Edinburgh Festival and has toured extensively around the UK, Australia and Canada every year since 2001. Heavily shaped by folk club comedians, Monty Python, Billy Connolly and his grandmother’s records, it is easy to see these influences in his fantastic, stream-of-consciousness style of comedy.
Yet there is method to Noble’s madness. While his approach has been described as ‘surreal’ or ‘random’ in the past, Noble prefers it called the “incredibly pretentious Magic Realism, as I start with the reality and rip it apart … but what it comes back to is just playing.” Renowned for his physicality and audience interaction which distinguishes Noble from other comedians, his natural talent is in the “theatricality of letting the audience see the idea in their minds … it’s using every tool in the box.”
With Australia and Adelaide a staple in his tour schedule, Noble keeps coming back because “it’s a really nice country to tour, it’s brilliant … especially Adelaide with the Clipsal and I can cycle everyday up through the hills and the beautiful beaches … if you’re not having fun in the daytime in nice places, you might as well be doing a desk job.” Compared to larger cities and their festivals, “Adelaide is much more of a general party. Most of the performers are not from here, so everyone is just here on holiday and loving doing a gig to chilled out people.”
Noble’s new show is more of what he’s brilliant at, “it’s just me playing around on stage, dicking about, meeting people in the audience and seeing what happens.” Happily foregoing a constricting theme or a poignant message, Brain Dump is “purely just about being funny.” And with that level of detail, we’re super excited.
“Young comics now have a much broader knowledge of comedy and audiences as well. In the 90s, if it hadn’t been on telly, people weren’t sure. Whereas now, even just a regular audience is 100 times more comedy savvy than those 25 years ago.”
After sold out shows around the world, Ross Noble – Brain Dump plays at the Royalty Theatre 8 – 13 March 2016 at 8pm. Preview Tues 8/3 $40 all tickets, all other shows $45 all tix. Bookings:https://www.adelaidefringe.com.au/fringetix
Interview by Hannah Lally