Noel Fielding Review

By Cathy Culliver

Before we go any further, I have to be upfront about something. I have loved Noel Fielding ever since I first stumbled across a strange show on SBS called The Mighty Boosh and witnessed two zookeepers talk about a man made out of bubblegum called Charlie.

So I’m sure you realise that for me, this man can do no wrong. But at the same time, I’m fully aware Fielding isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. If you like comedy to make sense, to have structure and to be about real life, you should probably stay the hell away from anything Fielding touches.

But if you like to laugh at silly things, if you find stories especially funny when they don’t make any sense and if you have a soft spot for all things surreal and absurd, Noel Fielding is the man for you.

But hopeless, loyal fan that I am, I still had some pretty big expectations for Fielding’s first Melbourne performance in nearly ten years. I just wasn’t sure he’d deliver. And the anticipation was made even worse when he cancelled the first show thanks to some nasty food poisoning, and we all had to come back 48 hours later to finally get our Fielding fix.

But I’m happy to say the wait was so completely worth it; Fielding did not disappoint. Clearly recovered from his earlier vomit marathon, Fielding was on fire; sparring with the audience, running around the stage and just being the charming and delightfully silly Noel Fielding so many of us know and love.

I laughed the most when Fielding had a whispering conversation about there being a dead gorilla at the skating rink, and my friend lost all composure while Fielding described a fight he had with his annoying neighbour Monkey Edwards, who was apparently stealing his dreams through a pipe.

Which all sounds completely ridiculous written down, of course, but that’s the brilliance of Fielding; he says the most bizarre things and then makes you laugh uncontrollably at them, when all the while you’re not even sure what’s going on.

If you’ve seen Fielding’s solo TV project Luxury Comedy, you’ll know that without his usual comedy partner Julian Barratt there to level things out a bit, Fielding can have a propensity to go off into very strange, acid trip-like tangents.

But I’m happy to say that this show very rarely roamed into just-too-weird territory. Those moments were there, but Fielding has enough self-awareness to realise when he’s taken the audience too far and it’s time to pull back into the real world.

I will say that it’s a damn shame there aren’t more comedians out there like him, brave enough to push the boundaries of what’s traditionally considered funny. But overall, what Fielding delivered was a brilliant evening of fun and silliness, and a perfect reminder of why I fell in love with him all those years ago.

Noel Fielding’s Australian tour is over