Milton Jones – Is Out There, 17/08/17, ★★★½

As probably the most well known act that I’ll see at this years Fringe, Milton Jones doesn’t need much of an introduction. He’s wowed Edinburgh audiences for many years with surreal, quick fire punchlines and this year is appearing in one of the biggest venues on the Fringe, Assembly Hall.  His vast popularity stems from his appearances on British TV shows from the Comedy Store to Mock the Week, where his family friendly lines get greater laughs than many of those plumbing the depths of depravity.

His set opens as expected, with one-liners, each ending in such a surprise that it often takes the whole crowd a few seconds to get on board. Even when he takes on the growing divides within Britain and it’s place in Europe he does so with good fun at the heart of it. His best lines come on family concerns, always twisting at the last second and despite how odd his lines can be they remain fascinatingly relatable.

He manages to build in some larger set-pieces including a dream sequence and a section on flags talking to each other, although these aren’t as strong as when he’s firing off lines. He’s at his peak when taking requests from the audience. It’s an incredible skill to come up with lines on the spot and he certainly got a challenge when someone shouted for a joke on Mickey Mouse, in the end he delivered three, each stronger than the last.

Milton Jones is a master of the form and this is a terrific show if you’re visiting with family, I don’t think there was anything offensive in the show at all. It is the nature of one-liner shows that they dip at sections, as it’s difficult to keep everyone’s attention for the full hour without stories, but if it’s a safe bet that your after then you won’t get much more of a sure thing than this.

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