Review: Ross Noble
The Olympia, Dublin
"If you don't like tangents, you might as well leave now," declares the scatterbrain Geordie comic Ross Noble midway into the first half of his show in the Olympia. Truth be told, he puts it a bit more crudely than suitable for the opening line of a review in a family newspaper.
He is the King of Tangential Comedy. If you're looking for funny narratives and neat one-liners, you've come to the wrong comedian. Noble's set is about as straight as his scraggly mane of bewildering dreadlocks. For his burgeoning fan base, it's a thrilling evening of off-the-wall entertainment.
Noble informs us that he nearly got arrested in Dublin today. He doesn't get round to telling us why until way after the interval. Clearly, this approach isn't to all comic tastes and he receives a few impatient heckles towards the end. There's a case for arguing that this show rambles on for about half an hour more than necessary, but for his staunchest fans, a set of roughly two and a half hours constitutes excellent value for money in stretched times.
Naturally, he mentions the financial storms raging outside the Olympia's opulent walls. While he doesn't offer any nation-saving pearls of comic wisdom, he's refreshingly honest, playfully mentioning his potential misgivings as a UK taxpayer.
The golden highlight is retelling what actually happened in Stephen's Green shopping centre earlier that day. Our comic hero thought that the centre's Christmas crib was very stingy, featuring only Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus. Noble took it upon himself to accessorise the crib. Not wanting to spoil the fun, the hilarious results can be viewed on his Twitter page.