Milton Jones is Out There | Gig review by Steve Bennett at Richmond Theatre

Milton Jones is Out There

Gig review by Steve Bennett at Richmond Theatre

Do we really need another idiot with stupid hair setting out what they would do if they ruled Britain? That’s the question Milton Jones asks in his new tour.

For while the loud-shirted comic is the king of the oblique, standalone one-liner, he has tried give his latest collection some sort of Brexit-inspired form to hold things together, albeit in his own peculiar way. Such as starting the show literally dressed as the United Kingdom. Beat that for patriotism, Nigel Farage…

It is, of course, the cue for lots of silly wordplay, while Jones returns to the theme of nationality towards the end with a bit of business involving the flags of the nations speaking to each other. It’s not the best section – commentary on current affairs not being Jones’s strong point, despite his Mock The Week appearances – but it makes sense why he does it. (‘Sense’ being used in its loosest form, of course).

Tellingly, the gold stars of the EU got a boo even in overwhelmingly Remain-voting Richmond, so this could prove especially contentious in Leave heartlands. And speaking of referendums, in one section Jones even holds a mini-vote of his own on a few untested jokes that may or may not last the rest of the tour.Three-quarters probably will.

The other thread on which Jones hangs his jokes is the idea his publicist has set him up with various interviews to plug this very tour, a not entirely subtle device to link a few jokes around loose themes. 

But, of course, this show is not about the scaffolding, however rickety, but the gags – and here Jones is as inventively daft as ever. Behind his demeanour of a very silly man is a brain that can connect words and notions in a unique way. When they are puns, you cannot beat him to the punchline, unlike many exponents of the form, since he combines his trickery with language with a weird juxtaposition of ideas that are unlikely to ever occur to anyone else. There are a couple of dozen brilliant lines you’ll want to remember, but probably won’t.

Jones closes with an encore in which he promises a joke on any subject thrown at him – which tonight elicits the predictable (Donald Trump) to the obtuse (trigonometry - you can tell it’s posh here), but nothing defeats him. He’s been doing this a long time and has a big back catalogue to plunder, but also remains as creatively inventive as always.

Review date: 25 Sep 2017
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Richmond Theatre

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