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Ross Noble

I remain a fan of the very funny Ross Noble, having caught the bug seeing him multiple times at the 2001 Edinburgh Festival, which was his bigtime breakthrough, and since. It’s damn good to have the affable Geordie father back in New Zealand with Humournoid. His semi-improvisational gifts remain impressive, as in the endearing audience Q/A which finishes his 2 hr 20 mins set (with interval), even when an American super-fan is excessive about it being over a decade since Noble has officially performed here.

From the start, Noble, both verbally and physically shrewd, works the crowd into his act, spinning tangential comedic yarns from the little things. The woman pumping her asthma inhaler, who looks like she’s trying to quickly perform an indiscreet act at a bus-stop. The bloke in the front row who’s just taken his shoes off. The diabetic. The silent laugher. The Kiwi tour manager.

Noble’s digressions have digressions about digressions. Sure, the odd improvised moment doesn’t zing, but overall Noble turns the random silly and surreal into really good comedy, spiked with fizzy logic. From lime scooters and helmets to casual bigotry, via dismembering a Wookiee to ‘It’s a Kind of Magic’, Noble delivers laughs. The guy right behind me was laughing so much he was having difficulty breathing.

Ivan Aristeguieta is a (mostly) amusing Venezuela-raised comedian. The Fourth Floor probes turning forty, mummy being the best, too much meat, and prepositions. Then there’s Aristeguieta’s bits on threesomes being excessive, Nigella Lawson’s inspiration, and clueless tourists romanticizing third-world people’s happiness.

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