Milton Jones is Out There

Milton Jones is a true wordsmith, often dubbed the master of the one-liner, he is absolutely true to form in his latest Edinburgh Fringe offering. Milton Jones is Out There begins unusually, and his stage is littered with props that are all made good use of by the end of the performance, some in more ways than one. Much like the punchlines to his jokes, his entrance is unexpected and very smart. So I won’t spoil it.

Milton Jones is out there, I suggest you go find him.

Thematically the performance is lead by Jones’ apparent desire to get ‘out there’ and do something world-changing. This desire, need, pull, obsession perhaps, is one that most people growing up surrounded by stories of heroes and heroines can relate to, if only from time-to-time. Jones plays with this idea, questioning what it even is to achieve something world-changing. Does he have to stand on a political platform, or is it enough to create a popular movie? He isn’t too sure, but he’s willing to try out anything his brand new publicist Becky throws at him. And believe you me, she has some pretty underwhelming offerings for Jones to get excited about.

Angling the performance in this way is absolutely contrived, ‘interrupting’ phone calls, and even a dream sequence are employed to cover various bits of comic ground. However, Jones is in full acknowledgement of this fact and plays with it cheerily throughout the show, hamming it up and twisting it around. There is always a punchline but it is never going to be the one you expect, and that is why Jones excels. No one audience member will figure out every one of Jones’ clever wordplays but that’s all part of the fun, especially if you go with a group. There are times in the act where Jones makes a point of pausing so that half the people in the room can catch up with his wit. I’ll admit there were a fair few times it took a moment for the penny to drop for me and my delayed laughter was definitely for the most part glee mixed with some embarrassment for taking so long to catch on, but also a bit of pride for figuring it out.

Jones is at his finest when dealing with the domestic, the humdrum of family relationships and daily matters, so perhaps there was too much scale to the performance given its global concerns, but it was still an excellent show in all. There are various points where Jones asks the audience to come up with subjects for him to deliver lines on, and this is truly where his comic genius is revealed. Coming up with a strong, hour long set and memorising its material is very impressive. Being able to come up with clever one-lines on the spot is incredible. Unfortunately, his audience during my viewing (very much including myself in this descriptor) was pretty unimaginative. So as a favour to me, please think of a country and a random subject matter before you go in. He may have fantastic lines on Ireland and Trump (I was howling), but he’s asking to be challenged.

Milton Jones is out there, I suggest you go find him. 

Reviews by Ailish George

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The Blurb

No, really out there and this time he hasn't just forgotten his keys. He's holding up the mirror of truth to society, and he can see right through it, which means its probably just a window. From Mock the Week, Live at the Apollo and multiple series on BBC Radio 4. 'Absurdist one-line masterpieces' (Times), 'The best one-liner merchant in British Comedy' ( Milton will be talking about his life so far – the ups, the downs and why buying his own see-saw was the best decision he ever made.

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