Life is a cabaret comeback

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IOL Irit David Ritchie Irit Noble

Irit Noble has donned the hats of emcee, theatre performer, cabaret artist, circus ring mistress, radio host, tv presenter, stand-up comedienne and magazine sex advice columnist, but the one thing that always shines through when she is in the limelight, is that she doesn’t mince her words

Theresa Smith

“It seems ridiculous, but it’s a comeback,” says Irit Noble, rolling her eyes as she tries to remember the last time she was on stage for a theatre-ish kind of show.

From about 2009 to 2010 she was popping up on stages all over town, from directing groups like D-Seven and Three Tons of Fun to starring in shows like Disco Divalicious and acting as the compere at Vaudeville on the Foreshore.

At that point she started thinking she needed to get some real business going if she wanted to be able to support her young (now 15-year-old) daughter and Noble started doing everything from writing to corporate emcee work.

“For the corporate stuff it took years for people to stop saying ‘don’t swear, don’t be ribald’,” she remembers. But Noble quickly learnt to tread that fine line between indecency and irreverence.

The blog has since gone down the bog, but the 46-year-old has figured out how to handle marketing and social media on behalf of others and loves the business of producing entertainment.

She does occasionally turn out a column for Cosmo: “I do still write on things I never have to look up. Nothing really shocks me. Stuff might move me to tears, but shock? No.

“I’m very non-judgemental, but I do observe and comment and I like to be privy to other people’s secrets.”

She is seated on the steps of the Galloway Theatre at the V&A Waterfront Theatre School, where she will debut her new show later this month. As the photographer clicks away she looks around, reminding herself that she needs to fill the space with people if she is going to make this work.

“It kind of feels like I have found what I want to do as a grown-up, and now I can be a kid every day,” she laughs.

“Grown-ups do the same thing every day and watch what comes out of their mouths; there’s routine and structure.”

Being the mother of a teenage daughter, Noble has decided one of them has to be the grown-up: “So now I want to channel that lack of social boundaries and exuberance into a show.”

She has deliberately given the Irit Noble in Cabaret show a no-under-16s age restriction, not because she is suddenly going to start swearing or stripping, but so she does not have to censor herself about complex issues children might not comprehend.

“Like, I used to do lots about co-dependency and that is something which a child might not understand.”

While she will do a fair amount of singing, the show will also feature a cathartic amount of unbundling about some of the “amazing things and some bad things that have happened over the years”.

“But, I don’t whine and I don’t complain,” she insists.

“The fabulous balance of life, that’s the premise of the show. Life is like a tightrope walk between uber fabulous and super-kak. Nature will balance you.”

She promises, though, that she is not going to be uber fantastically happy.

“It was great at the time, but I was such a pain in the bum because I was so positive,” she laughs about her super-happy phase.

“I was so extreme. But I mix it up now. I used to be very ‘hey shoo wow, man’, but I’ve realised over the last few years that it is all random.

“My daughter keeps on saying: ‘Stop saying it’s rando’… It’s my new made-up word. I’ve been putting it out there. I’ve been a degenerate party animal and bags of gold have fallen in my lap.

“One juggles between the sense of not getting up your own ass when things go right or self-flagellation when things go wrong, but it’s just random.

“I might just be over myself.

“Why cabaret? It’s the only thing I can do. It was where I fit in. I enjoy the freedom and I know how to use it.”

Irit Noble in Cabaret runs at the Galloway Theatre, V&A Waterfront Theatre School, from June 11 to 14 and 18 to 21. Tickets: R100 from www.waterfronttheatre school.co.za/booknow, or call Sharon at 082 772 8867.


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