So what can audiences expect?
“It will be a playful experience for young and old. Imagine watching someone create a magic carpet on an enchanted loom. Oh, hang on… magic carpets fly, that would smash the loom as it took flight. I haven’t thought that through… That’s what people can expect. Razor sharp observations on things I haven’t thought through.”
Ahead of the 57-date UK tour, running from 25th October 2023 – 17th March 2024 – the comic took to the hot seat for this Q&A:
How will this tour differs from the Ross Noble on his first tour?
I’ve got significantly better hotel accommodation. That’s the main thing. Also, there are people coming to see me now who came with their parents when they were kids. That messes with your head a little bit. I still think of myself as being like 22 or 23 years old, and now I’ve got grown men going, “I saw you when I was 15. And now I’m a professional comedian!” Not even people going, “I want to be a comedian’ – like actual, established performers.”
So you’re an elder statesman of comedy now?
I wouldn’t go that far! Also, the people that get described as elder statesman …some of them are a little bit too confident in their opinions, you know? They start going: “Well, the thing about comedy…”. No! Shut up!
You once claimed planning for your show was “about four words on a piece of scrap paper”. Has that changed?
That was actually taken slightly out of context. What I would do is go on and improvise, and then afterwards, I would write down things I could do again. I didn’t sit down to plan, think of four things and write them down. It’s the same today, really. Except I just don’t write them down – I feel like I should be able to remember four things!
You’re known for your lengthy shows. As you get older, do you ever wish you’d gotten yourself known for sets that are less demanding?
Not really. During Covid I was doing an hour and half straight through, and I really liked it. The thing that gets me is comics who sit down. Whenever I see a comic with a chair on stage, I just think “If you need that chair, do a shorter show! Get up and put some effort in!”
Given that your love of crowd interaction and flights of fancy can make each show quite different, do you get fans who try to see every show to get the full experience?
Yeah, I do! I did the shows in Sydney recently and there was this couple that came three nights running and sat in the same seats. I did a different show every night, I’ve done six hours, and I haven’t repeated any of the ideas and then afterwards, they went: “Oh, you never did that bit again that we really liked…”. You can’t win!
How close are you in real-life to your persona on-stage?
The difference between me onstage and me offstage is that when I’m on stage I show my working out. As I’m talking, my brain is constantly interrupting itself, so I’ll be saying something and then that’ll spark another thing, and then something else will come in – and I explain all that as it happens. Those thoughts still happen when I’m offstage, but I don’t say them all out loud, so if you meet me in the street, I can seem kind of distracted. I’ll often get halfway through a sentence and just stop – it drives my wife up the wall.
Ross in Yorkshire:
Thursday October 26, 2023 – Harrogate, Royal Hall
Wednesday November 15, 2023 -York, Grand Opera House
Sunday March 17, 2024 – Leeds, Grand Theatre
Tickets from www.rossnoble.com