Ross Noble: Brain Dump

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Ross Noble: Brain Dump

The famously bizarre King of Tangents still stands strong with endless stories of riding pigs past synagogues, etc

It would be a waste of time to describe Ross Noble by pulling apart the highs and lows of his opening night set, as chances are the line-up of jokes will be drastically different for each of his four Comedy Festival shows. So then, how can we talk about his latest show Brain Dump without actually talking about the show? 

Ross Noble lives in a very specific category of beast-brain. With audience-drawn improvisation blended between rambling stories that take sharp turns onto tangential freeways at least twice every minute, Ross would have you believe that he comes onto stage each night without a single word of prepared material. And that’s the magic.

While the show is essentially a possibly delusional man talking a lot about anything and everything, for every long, wiry hair in his luscious mane, Ross seems to have three crazy ideas in his head each weirder and cruder than the last.

And the thing is, his ability to deliver is uncanny. Behind the veil of absolute bloody nonsense, the man is cunning; building the absurdity of the jokes at just the right times with bizarre ease so that none of it feels old at any time. His sense for improvisation is as powerful as a fire-breathing eagle.

A few disclaimers: an educated guess of what to expect is that there will be fairly tame swearing and possibly extreme content with very thin levels of filter. Sensitive souls may have a few uncomfortable minutes when Ross swerves into a story of a drunken man having sex with a fire extinguisher. Maybe as a way of warning it’s worth noting that the opening night contained, as some of the topics of discussion: his recent vasectomy, Britain’s COBRA planning against terrorism, and punching another parent’s kid in the playground for hurting his daughter. But he handles all of this with charm, and the flippancy of it all means he only brushes up against offensive.

It’s fair to say that Ross Noble has lost no edge in Brain Dump despite probably having performed several thousand sets at this point in his career. He’s strange. He’s quick; every audience member is ripe for his scrutiny. He is 20 years shy of a lonely old man ranting at a pub bar on a Friday night, only the pub would need to contain at least three porpoises, an inflatable pool and an astronaut to be an accurate portrayal – such is the bizarre majesty of Ross Noble.

By: John Back

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