Kim Noble is one of the most interesting, disturbing, innovative and distinctive voices in modern British comedy.
His previous shows have mixed video, performance art, theatre and audience interaction to both hilarious and unsettling effect.
This is comedy that defies explanation and challenges its audience. And you can see it at Soho Theatre this winter. Here’s what Kim had to say.
This is your second run at Soho Theatre with You’re Not Alone. What’s made you come back?
I don’t have anything else to do…the show kinda gives me a bit of focus to my life. It makes me feel less of a loser for a month. It’s nice to have something to do each day isn’t it? I’ve also got to go to Next because a shirt I bought is too large and I’ll probably go for a jog. Worse things happen at sea I suppose (lets hope there isn’t a bad cruise liner incident the week this article is published).
I loved it when I saw it the first time round, and so did many critics. What did you make of the run?
A critic in Denmark, where I recently performed it, gave it zero out of 6 stars. not zero out of 5, but zero out of 6. That’s pretty bad. So not everyone liked it*. To another critic who was a bit mean, I started sending them a watermelon once a month, that’s 9 watermelons so far. But generally I was relieved that it went so well.
*is zero out of 6 in fact the same level of hatred as zero out of five?
The show has some very challenging scenes and situations. Is it difficult to perform?
It’s more scary thinking of all the things that can go wrong technically and with the audience. So yeah it’s not easy, but worse things happen at sea (Christ i’m really hopping there aren’t any cruise liner incidents now).
As with your previous shows, it really pushes theatre, comedy and performance to the extreme. What drives you to take these risks and really create an experience for the audience they are unlikely to find anywhere else?
It’s kinda just what I do. Alan Titchmarsh does gardens, Ryan (the plumber who repaired my toilet last week) plumbs stuff, I go around with a camera stick it up arses and faces, (metaphorically) (and sadly literally) a lot of my stuff is just absurd and silly. Some folk think it’s pretty tame. No one’s been actually harmed.
A large theme of the show is using the internet to hide your true identity. How did you get interested in this idea?
Weirdly the answer is basically in the show. I just found it easy to get attention being a lady, than a man. I’m more successful with the opposite sex, as a woman, online. So I started to really push it. To find out how far I could go with these people. Also I’m just a bit bored and lonely and it seemed a good idea. It probably wasn’t a good idea. I did once get a semi though when I was trying to bring a bloke off during a bit of sex chat online.
There’s also deep and powerful personal connection with the audience. Is breaking the fourth wall an important part of what you do?
I’m aware some of these answers aren’t funny at all. Sorry about that, but I’ll press on. I don’t intentionally “break a fourth wall”, just there doesn’t seem much of gap between what I do on-stage and what I do off it. so it feels natural to try and connect somehow. I think that’s what everyone attempts when they are on a stage. Even Kim Jung-On. I was going to do a Kim Jung-On nob gag but felt it was a bit crass, and I don’t have any North Korean dictator jokes yet.
What theatre and comedy interests you as a punter?
I once went to see Starlight Express.
Not to sound creepy, but I think I spotted you heading into see Morrissey at Hammersmith Apollo recently. What did you think (I was a little underwhelmed if it was his final ever UK show)?
Yes it was a bit underwhelming. But I liked it that he didn’t treat it any different. (again this answer could do with a North Korean dictator nob gag…but I still don’t have any yet.)
Being a Peckham resident, I regularly visit the <BLANK> It’s nice, isn’t it? (this question has been blanked for legal reasons)
Yes although I’m not allowed to mention ︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎︎<BLANK>. Sorry.
What are your plans once you finish this show?
Cry a bit. Then I might go for a jog. I’m writing a book. I did a drawing for it the other day. I think it might be published next year. You can reserve a copy.
Worse things happen at sea I suspect (oh lordie. Let’s really hope for no nautical incidents during the period when this article is up. There’s always one isn’t there? I’m hoping for none).
For a discount for the first week of performance use the code KIMLOL when purchasing tickets