With all the strands of flashing light cables festooned from the Music Hall balcony and linking a giant bisected head on the stage, you might be forgiven for thinking Ross Noble had gone all high tech with his Humournoid show.
But once the introductory visual effects were over, the Geordie comedian got down to basics – him on a stage on his own, just being funny.
Not, of course, that you can really apply “basic” to what Ross does – unless you think that stream-of-consciousness grasshoppering from whatever topic pops into his head counts.
Much of it was driven by the comedian’s rapport and playful interplay with the audience.
It is something that he established with his opening words to a busy Music Hall audience: “It’s actually happening… we are all finally in the same room together”.
Ross got as much laughter from the north-east as he would in London
It was not just an expression of delight at being back performing live in Aberdeen, but also a nod to the length of time it took to get here.
The pandemic knocked back the tour two years then the Christmas lockdown pushed it back even further.
The Music Hall was supposed to be his first stop on his UK tour… instead it was his last.
Not that he seemed fazed at bowing out in the Granite City as opposed to the London Palladium.
His kinetic, high-energy performance never flagged once – and he got as much laughter and banter from the north-east as he would have had in London.
His chat with the audience launched him off on hilarious tangents. Who would have guessed that the first two people he spoke to would be called Ross?”
It was almost hard to keep up with where Ross was going, with a real sense that he truly is making this up as he goes along.
Of course, a big part of that comes from the chat with the audience that launched him off on hilarious tangents. Who would have guessed that the first two people he spoke to would be called Ross?
Comedy was fast and furious and always out of left field
Or that he could somehow reference the cult classic The Wicker Man, bring it round to the longer burn time of The Wicker Woman, then link it back to the Tinder dating app being used by pagan islanders to lure unsuspecting policeman for a bit of light human sacrifice.
Then there was the Doppler effect of monkeys falling down a well – prompted by an unfortunate laugh in the audience – which looped back to an asthmatic donkey and All Creatures Great And Small.
When Ross gave some examples of why he could never be a host on a daytime quiz show, you had to admit he has a valid point.”
See what I mean? This stuff was coming fast and furious and always out of left field.
There is, of course, some set piece work in all that glittering improv. Prince Andrew didn’t escape unscathed nor did the ads on ITV daytime telly – “the darkest place on television”.
And when Ross gave some examples of why he could never be a host on a daytime quiz show, you had to admit he has a valid point.
Thunderous Aberdeen applause brought Ross Noble’s tour to an end
There’s also the small matter of never getting his vision of how Anne Summers makes their hand sanitiser out of your head.
At times a bit edgy – Jimmy Carr’s recent controversy got pulled into the mix at one point – Ross defused any discontent, or as he put it stopped folk from starting the angry wobble, by pointing out no offence is intended and if anyone took it, they could call him out at the Q&A at the end.
No one did.
Ross deserved the thunderous applause from the Music Hall audience that helped the comedian bring his long-awaited UK tour to an end.”
Probably because they were still laughing at the final extended scenario he painted of how baggy cycling shorts, having his hands full, and a hotel’s room card-operated lift in his pocket had him branded as a sex pest in Brighton.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable gig. Ross deserved the thunderous applause from the Music Hall audience that helped the comedian bring his long-awaited UK tour to an end.
Hopefully, we won’t have to wait another two years to see him return.
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