Noel Fielding: Curiouser and Curiouser

An Evening with Noel Fielding can be summed up by two quips found in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, courtesy of the Cheshire Cat. “Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality” and “If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense.”

Amidst rapturous applause from a sold-out crowd at Auckland’s Aotea Centre, Noel Fielding billowed out onto the stage wearing a fantastically sequined cape. Now 41, he opened with the observation that being over 40 “is like being a helium balloon. You’re not up in the sky or on the ground. You’re midrange.” As the show progressed, it was clear that Noel Fielding does not have a midrange. Not that that was a bad thing as we tumbled deeper down the lo-fi rabbit hole he had rechristened ‘the fantasy zone.’

Fielding’s quintessential brand of hyperbolic surrealism was as ridiculously whimsical as you would expect from a man who made his name as one half of anarchic British cult classic The Mighty Boosh and his solo project Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy. Fielding cleverly intertwined characters from both shows in his two hour routine, and with a mixture of animation, song, as well as charming improv, there was a nuanced method to Fielding’s madness. Oscillating between playing hopscotch with Kanye West and namechecking Charles Bukowski, Fielding was asked by various characters (played by long-time collaborators his brother Michael and Tom Meeten) whether he was presenting jokes or concepts. True to form, it tottered between the two, which is befitting of a man previously dubbed “the confuser.” I don’t think the audience minded one little bit.

This article was published in Rip It Up magazine on May 12th 2015.

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