'Wanna play a crazed Nazi playwright who tries to kill everyone?': JOE spins the Tombola of Truth with Ross Noble
The Geordie comic is in Dublin for the week.
Ross Noble is in Ireland as part of week long residency in the Bord Gais Energy Theatre of the Mel Brooks musical 'The Producers'.
He plays the part of Franz Liebkind, the crazy Nazi playwright.
We caught up with Ross after the first performance in Dublin which was greeted by a standing ovation and had a chat about all the things.
Tombola Of Truth:
JOE: If you had to sing a song in karaoke, what would it be?
Ross: REM - End of the World As We Know It.
J: Not the most cheerful sentiment?
R: Are you kidding?! It's an amazing song! What I like about it is the lyrics are so fast and people think they know it when they don't know it.
There's that bit where everything speeds up lyrically and you can see people just making shit up. It's hilarious. But yeah, I've done that song a few times.
J: Do you have a film you've seen more than once?
R: I have seen Back to the Future over 300 times
R: Partly because it's almost the perfect film, but also when we were kids, we had it on an old VHS tape recorded off the telly. We didn't have a video recorder so my Dad used to bring one home from work on a Friday night.
We had Friday, Saturday and Sunday to watch as much as we could. We would hire videos to watch, but would have to return them before Sunday night.
But on the Sunday night, we would watch Back to the Future, two or three times.
J: It is a classic in fairness.
R: Christopher Lloyd came to one of my shows before and came backstage afterwards and it was really bizzare.
I wondered what he would be like as a bloke you know and he's EXACTLY the same off camera as he is on it. He was maybe more like Jim from Taxi (pic above).
J: Were you starstruck?
R: Well I had seen that movie so many times that yeah, I was a bit startstruck. He was like "Yaw, yaw, great show, ya really brought the room together." I was thinking, 'Wow'.
J: Would you rather fight a shark on land or a gorilla underwater?
R: So hang on, is the shark in a confined space, like a boxing ring? or is it an open area?
J: I would say a very small private beach.
R: Ah well then, I'd fight the shark. It can only flip it's own tail and fins so as long as you kept your distance and waited.
You'd just have to wait for a bit then kick it in the face. The gorilla could swim up take a breath, come back down and batter ya and rip your flippers off.
J: What's the weirdest dream you've ever had? Can you remember one?
R: Eh...I don't really have any. My dreams tend to be fairly normal. People probably expect my dreams to be crazy and mad.
But, my madness comes out on stage I guess. So my dreams consist of me just fixing shelves and buttering toast, maybe a bit of admin.
J: Okay, describe the colour yellow to a blind person.
R: It is the feeling of the sun on your face in colour form.
J: Were you a fan of the original Mel Brooks film, The Producers?
R: Yeah, very much so. My dad showed me the film when we were younger. He sometimes tell us what we were watching.
He'd say 'Okay, this afternoon, we're going to watch this...' He'd sit me down and showed us Blazing Saddles (gif above) and I thought 'wow, this is incredible' and then he showed us Spaceballs and then, I was quite young at the time, he said 'What about this?!' and he put on a film about singing Nazis.
J: You've done a bit of acting with your part in the independent horror movie 'Stitches' (pic below) which of course was filmed in Ireland. Is acting something you'd like to do more of?
R: I'm a standup first and foremost and that's what I love doing, I love the freedom of it. Some comics just want to be actors because they like the idea of being movie stars.
For me, it's one of those things where I really love the process of doing stuff, the end is not the ultimate goal for me. It's the process of doing it.
I love films and it turns out I love musical theatre too. If someone comes along and says 'here's a chance to do Mel Brooks' work', you just can't turn that down.
Doing the work of Mel Brooks is a gift. So, if the right things come along and also it has to be right for me.
I'm not that bothered about being some sort of heroic romantic lead, but when somebody comes along and says 'Do you wanna play an undead killer clown?' I go 'Yeah, brilliant' or 'Do you wanna play a crazed Nazi playwright who writes a show called Springtime for Hitler and then tries to kill everybody, I'm thinking 'yeah I can do that'.
J: Being a fan of the original Mel Brooks movie, did you feel any pressure to do the part justice?
R: Oh yeah, but that's all part of the fun, the challenge of it. The real pressure comes when I turn up for rehearsals and I realise that I'm there because of my comedy chops.
I'm there as a comedy performer, singing in a German accent, dancing, but everyone else there is at the top level of musical theatre, the creme de la creme.
They are all brilliant singers and dancers. So it's not just the pressure of it being a Mel Brooks musical, but the fact that these people are the best there is in the business.
In terms of the West End, these people audition and they are hand-picked from thousands of auditions. So you're thinking to yourself, you better bring your A game.
J: Ross Noble, it's been an honour, thanks very much for talking to us.
R: You're very welcome, it's been fun!
The Producers is a hilarious comedy that has taken Broadway and the West End by storm, winning a record-breaking 12 Tony Awards and 3 Olivier Awards; and is in the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre from 6-11 July.