Leicester Comedy Festival review: An interview with Milton Jones at the Haymarket Theatre

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Review by Olivia Maclaughlin

 

Think of Milton Jones and the picture that comes to mind is that of a wild-haired man in a strange shirt.

But he strides onto the stage of the Haymarket Theatre with relatively tame hair, wearing a plain jumper.

This isn’t an ordinary show, though. He’s here to be interviewed by Geoff Rowe, the director of the Leicester Comedy Festival, and tells the audience just how he started as a stand-up, his early career and the story behind those crazy shirts.

Most of us know Jones from the past decade. He first appeared on Mock the Week in 2010 and has continued to appear on it since then.

But Jones was no overnight success. He’d been a club comic for 20 years previous to that and came up around the time as Jack Dee and Micky Flanagan, and he gave us some winning anecdotes from the time. He tells us about the Iceman, for instance, an act on the circuit in the 90s whose entire routine consisted of him melting a block of ice on stage with a blow torch.

How did he come by his own signature look? He dabbled in clogs, he says, before settling on odd jumpers and then finally loud shirts. It’s all part of the on-stage character, he explains.

There’s a danger that watching an interview with a comedian you’d rather see perform could be dull, but Jones is lively company and makes sure to break up the conversation and draw in the the audience, allowing us to connect with him in a format we know and find comfortable. In short: yes, there are laughs.

But there’s also insight. His wife, parents and his faith are all pillars of his support systems, he tells us, but being a Christian isn’t brought into his comedy because it isn’t always about having a message to preach.

At an hour long, this honest interview tells us more about who Milton Jones actually is as a person and a comedian than any panel show appearance or stand-up gig possibly could.

 

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