Ross Noble takes Young Frankenstein tangent on way to El Hablador


Ross Noble.
Ross Noble.

FANS of English comedian Ross Noble are used to seeing the master of improvisational comedy go off on a tangent to random singing and dancing moments during his live shows, but now the Geordie is a legitimate West End star.

After his recent London season as Igor in the Mel Brooks musical Young Frankenstein, Noble has won the WhatsOnStage Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical and been nominated for a prestigious Olivier Award in the same category, with the winner announced April 8.

“It’s funny, an Olivier is the highest la-di-da of all the theatre awards and I’d be getting it for playing a hunchback,” Noble said.

“It’s one of those things where it’s great to be nominated but I’m up against three different actors from Hamilton. I think the odds are very much stacked in Hamilton’s favour.

“It might be nice if they thought it wasn’t fair to give it to one of the Hamilton lads because they all have to be in the same show. Just for an easy life, give it to me, but I don’t think it works like that.”

Noble said it was the opportunity to work with 91-year-old Brooks that appealed most when signing up to Young Frankenstein.

“The word ‘legend’ is overused,” he said.

“You can’t turn on a reality TV show without hearing phrases like ‘cricketing legend’ and you think ‘Come on’, but he genuinely is an absolute legend. In the world of comedy he’s been at the top of his game for years and years.

“He sent me a message the other day with a photo of him in his office and behind his desk he’s got Grammys, Oliviers, Oscars, BAFTAs; he’s basically won every award that you can. The show has been nominated for Best New Musical and I’m going ‘It would be great to win’ and Mel’s probably going, ‘I don’t know if I’ve got any space on the shelf’.”

Noble is back in Australia with his Aussie wife Fran and daughters Elfie (9) and Willow (5) touring new stand-up show El Hablador which still has links to Young Frankenstein.

“I enlisted the help of the guys from the musical,” he said.

“I wrote a song for the start of the show and I got the assistant music director to record it, roped in the musicians and then I got Hadley Fraser who played Dr Frankenstein to sing it. It’s a song all about the legend of El Hablador.

“So I’ve managed to roll on the production. There’s a bit of CGI at the start and then I come out the mouth of a massive skull and make no reference to it whatsoever.”

As for the rest of the show, not even Noble knows exactly what comedy delights will follow.

THE ESSENTIALS

What: Ross Noble – El Hablador

Where: Regal Theatre

When: March 28 to 31

Tickets: www.ticketek.com.au