Review: Milton Jones, Cheltenham Town Hall
THERE'S not many people who could get an audience to replicate the sound of a farmyard animal in unison.
There are even less who are like funnyman Milton Jones.
His surreal brand of comedy was laid out in all its bizarre glory during a gig at Cheltenham Town Hall which was had moments of the sublime and even more of the downright ridiculous.
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And we loved every single minute. And by we I refer to an audience which was one of the most eclectic I can remember. Men in their finest tweed and jazzy cravats sat side-by-side with teenage girls, squealing and howling together as the one-liners came thick and fast.
One woman even let out an uncontrollable shriek as another punchline tickled her ribs before a chorus of voices imitated a cow to much amusement.
Oh dear. Our journey into Milton's fantastically quirky imagination began with the comedian riding a scooter onto the stage in a dressing gown.We are informed this is his grandfather and the doddery old fool routine goes down a treat.
One deadpan jokes follows another with audience members struggling to catch their breath between the barrage of laughs.
This is no massacre of metaphorical sacred cows delivered with a host of expletives.
It's just wonderfully compelling harmless humour, cleverly constructed and delivered with perfect comic timing. The man in the gown telling us the Nazis were a product of watching the history channel too much and Hitler's plan to invade Britain, Operation Sealion, was codenamed Barry White.
It's an opening half hour which is worth the ticket price alone. Before long though our elderly friend departs the stage for support act for the night, Chris Martin, who proved largely hit and miss.
Routines which centred around topics such as playing practical jokes on squirrels bore much fruit but others felt as though he was trying just that little bit too hard.
Before long though, the bright orange trousers and trademark jazzy shirt of Milton were to appear again. And it wasn't long until he hit his stride with a host of jokes that weaved regional stereotypes into a section where an overhead projector was use to full comic value.
There was an ease about Milton with improvisation with audience members proving equally as humourous as his hundreds of rehearsed one-liners. Whilst some jokes took a little longer for people to catch on, others sparked shrieks of laughter instantly.
Comparing a kebab to a sheep pole dancing may not sound like comedy gold. But in Milton's hands, it was.
There's a cliche in comedy that some acts are a laugh a minute. In the case of Milton, there were at least two every 30 seconds with each one seemingly better than the rest.
If you didn't catch him, there's still chance with an additional date announced at Cheltenham Town Hall on October 20. Tickets £20. Call 08445 762210.