Edinburgh Festival `99: Comedy Review 'Ross Noble'

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The Independent Culture
Ross Noble: Laser Boy Gilded Balloon, Venue 38

to 30 Aug

ROSS NOBLE, it seems, is able to build whole landscapes around a single idea. An incident with a pensioner, for example, sees him transported into a medieval world of wizards, dragons and mountains of barley sugar. And there is logic involved. In medieval times people lived only until their thirties, and the lack of pensioners meant an excess of boiled sweets.

A girl in the front row forms the basis for some improvised musings on the nature of medicine which somehow morph into a fevered description of a gerbil committing burglary. Presumably, there is a rehearsed script, but Noble appears to be in no hurry.

Indeed, his ability to feed off his surroundings and spin psychedelic tales is his winning card. He is equipped with an encyclopaedic brain that spews out anything from ancient history to pop culture. And if there isn't a punch line, no matter. The beauty is in the journey, not the destination.