“There is a bit of a fashion for stand-up at the moment in which people think the show has to have a theme or they have to be explaining a narrative, but for me, I’m not too bothered about that kind of thing. If you want to tell narratives, then make a film,” says Ross Noble, the king of improvisational comedy who is returning to Australia with his brand new show, El Hablador.
Noble’s style of stand-up can be classified by one word: random… and that’s exactly how he likes it.
“I just want my stand-up to be really funny so that’s what I do. I come on and be funny about nothing in particular,” he laughs, “That’s what’s great about stand-up; it changes depending on each night. It’s not like seeing a play or a film where people watch it passively, I want people to swept away with it because it’s constantly something new.”
Considering a majority of Noble’s work heavily relies on audience interaction and improvisation, it’s no surprise that each show on a comedy tour ends up completely different from one another. As he explains, this spontaneous and unique style of comedy was something he adopted early on in his career.
“What I do now came out of how I started and the strange environments I was performing,” he says. “I used to host a comedy show and I also did outdoor gigs and busking where it was all about reacting and building up a crowd somewhere outside. On top of that I did a lot of TV warm ups. All of those things coming together helped me to get good at performing while going with the flow.”
Throwing himself into diverse situations is something Noble has continued throughout his career by delving into many different facets of the media and entertainment industry. Most recently venturing to the stage to play Igor in the West End Production of Mel Brooks’ ‘Young Frankenstein’, this role won Noble the award of Best Supporting Actor at this year’s ‘What’s On Stage Awards’. When asked about the award, Noble took his opportunity to call out the naysayers.
“I was doing a lot of press for the show when it started and all the journalists would say, ‘oh so you’re in a musical, do you sing?’ and you sort of go ‘that’s what a musical is…’ Then they find out there’s dancing involved so they all go ‘oh, so do you sing AND dance?’ It’s as if they had never seen a musical before,” he expresses. “Maybe it was because they were suspicious I was doing one; I’m not too sure. But it’s kind of nice to win an award and go ‘yeah, I’m pretty good at it.”
Now unrestricted by scripts and directors, Noble will be venturing back down to Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo as part of his 15th tour of Australia, after having previously selling out the last 14.
“We always have a good laugh down in Geelong,” Noble reminisces. “I remember last time I went to get food and had an excellent burrito before the show so I might have one of them again.”
When & Where: Kyneton Town Hall, Kyneton – March 14; Wendouree Centre for Performing Arts, Ballarat – March 16; Ulumbarra Theatre, Bendigo – March 17 & GPAC, Geelong – April 11.
Written by Alex Callan