Review: Ross Noble’s Nonsensory Overload

With his limitless imagination and hilarious spontaneity on stage, Ross Noble has established himself as one of the best-loved comedians in Britain. His show includes anything that pops into his head, so you never know what’s going to happen next. But one thing is for certain – his latest DVD, Nonsensory Overload, will have you in stitches.



In Nonsensory Overload Noble takes us on a strange journey full of laugh out loud anecdotes and even manages some singing and dancing.

Any Ross Noble fan will agree that no two nights of comedy with him are the same. His material is somewhat only partially scripted – it comes across as an ongoing stream of surreal consciousness – and has you wondering whether he wrote a script at all. He starts with a few ideas, but thrives off the smallest distraction – anything from two empty seats in the audience to a bald man in the front row.

Noble’s talent is his ability to create spontaneous, side-splitting material from the top of his head. It’s his knack for rambling that makes his shows unique every night.

The award-winning Northumbrian comic, uses this amazing skill to create a unique experience for his audience. The daft meanderings of his mind cannot be compared to the scripted material so many comedians use these days. Although comics like Russell Howard and Dara O’Brien are funny, you know you’ll recognise the gags if you see their show more than once on tour. With Ross Noble, there’s no chance of that happening.

His unrivalled knack for ad-libbed callback, paired with his vivid imagination makes his material even more bizzare. One minute he’ll ask the occupation of a member of the audience and the next he will somehow end up doing an impression of a man with metal hands. Classic Ross Noble.

A handful of stories will make it to each show but the rest is ad-libbed, whimsical stories, largely stemming from what’s going on in the room. Noble is able to bond with his audience by creating material which is only relevant to them, allowing them to feel they’re having an in-joke with the comic.

Judging by previous shows, the quirky comedian likes nothing more than to fill the space behind him with elaborate installations and Nonsensory Overload is no different. We see an explosion of primary colours and cartoon representations of old effigies, such as an owl in a hat and faces in muffins. As Noble would say, ‘There’s a face! Next muffin. There’s a face! Next muffin…’

Nonsensory Overload– which is Noble’s eighth DVD – is a 3-disc set, running for five hours, making it the longest running he has yet released. The DVD is a compilation of various shows ranging from his performances at The Hay Festival to the Hammersmith Apollo in London.

Even at its best, stand-up comedy can never truly capture the same uncontrollable laughter of friends sharing a spontaneous in-joke. It’s hard to believe that the artificial environment of a gig can produce the same feeling of being rendered helpless with laughter, however, Ross Noble’s ability to create laughs on the go is comedy’s best chance of reproducing those ideal conditions.

You can follow Ross on twitter @realrossnoble or check out his personal site
Nonsensory Overload is available to buy from Amazon.

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Rating: 4.0/5 (1 vote cast)
Review: Ross Noble's Nonsensory Overload , 4.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating