Review: Ross Noble, El Hablador, Grand Opera House, York, Sunday, October 21

GEORDIE comic Ross Noble clambers through the gritted teeth of a giant, inflatable skull on to the stage at York’s Grand Opera House and immediately starts riffing about ghosts, Scooby Do and cows’ backsides.

There are also two oversized skulls bookmarking the set and, in typical Noble fashion, he doesn’t make reference to them all night, nor to the title of his show, El Hablador.

To do so would be to give his generous two-hour set some sense of meaning, cohesion and theme. And as fans of Noble know only too well, Ross is all about the random, flights of fancy and downright silliness.

The best mindset to be in for an evening with Noble is “go with the flow”. Do not under any circumstances shout out “when do the jokes begin?” as one fella did during an “any questions” finale.

Noble was clearly irked and turned on the audience member.but was prompted to tell a conventional joke about two women relieving themselves in a graveyard at night. It was a good one, but Noble made us all laugh louder and heartier with his trademark comic antics.

The show is titled El Hablador, the Spanish for storyteller. The stories Noble tells are the ones that lead you down winding alleys, sometimes to a dead end, but sometimes with a track back to the main road.

His skill is in carrying the audience with him on these journeys and in taking directions from the crowd as he heads on yet another comic detour.

Maxine Gordon