Monday, July 11, 2011
Ross Noble's Australian Trip (2010)
Inventive British stand-up comedian Ross Noble turns documentary host (sort of) in this atypical travel program DVD set. Consisting of six 1-hour long episodes, Ross Noble's Australian Trip documents his ride literally around the continent during that 3 month leg of his Fizzy Logic tour in early 2007. In getting to the roughly 80 gigs on the tour, he covers over 16,000 miles on his BMW motorcycle, sweating profusely all the while, as the early months of the year are the middle of summer in Australia.
Before performing his shows, Noble takes in some of the local culture at each stop along the way. He has a tremendous penchant for finding the odd and the strange and presenting it for the viewer to enjoy. The odd and the strange includes both the things and the people he encounters along the way. He's a sucker for the big roadside attractions that the smaller towns invariably have, but he also seeks out the people who run the local establishments as well. This serves a two-fold purpose, as in addition to putting things like this into his travel documentary, he also incorporates the local flavor into that evening's performance on stage, endearing him to his audience even further. The travel program is interspersed with concert footage of Noble in action, allowing you to see him taking some of what he's learned earlier that day and incorporating it into that evening's performance. As well as being a great travel program, the documentary also delves into the workings of a brilliant comic mind.
Besides showing us the quirky, Noble also makes sure to show the beauty and majesty of Australia. There are many helicopter shots of him traversing the open roads on his bike, and there is a film crew shooting him on the ground as well. Both manage to get many beautiful shots of Australia, showing skies and roads that seemingly go on forever, serving almost as an advertisement for the national board of tourism. The program also shows a vast amount of Australia that most people have never seen, as it reveals much of the areas between the major cities. While Noble is a comedian by profession, this show is a travel program first and foremost. Noble is not new to the travel show game, having previously done a radio version for the BBC while touring the world doing stand-up in 2001.
Noble is an extremely affable fellow, and besides enjoying him touring Australia, the DVD set also includes another 45 minutes of bonus footage that couldn't quite be formed into an episode, but was too good to leave out altogether. There is also another film involving him and a friend competing in a grueling 24 hour off-road motorbike race in the UK. The hour long feature shows another side of Noble, and it is actually possible to begin to get emotional watching the team attempt to complete this amazing task.
This set is well worth getting for fans of Noble's comedy, or just anyone who would enjoy a good travel doco in the first place. A very entertaining package, available from places like Amazon UK, or even Noble's own site.