In a bright orange shirt, a hat possibly borrowed from the Canadian Mounties, and a perplexed expression, award-winning UK comic Milton Jones takes his audience on a tale of adventure in Milton Jones and the Temple of Daft.
Like Indiana’s exploits there are twists and turns, however, this expedition unearths comedy gold. You may have had a sample of Jones’ passion for wordplay through UK panel shows like Mock The Week. Given a stage all to himself, Jones spins a yarn of his attempts to recover from being a discredited archaeologist.
Audience participation is sought from the outset; Jones’ asks for the name of the story’s hero, an exciting destination, and a kitchen implement. These are worked into the tale, which is really scaffolding for an array of one-liners as he narrates his character’s history (“I remember my grandfather saying `You selfish boy’. The next day I became a fishmonger.”) and situations.
This Jones is much more awkward than his cinematic namesake in the style, action and romance stakes, but that guy wasn’t burdened by self-deprecation and the clandestine involvement of his past high school teachers in his adventures. Laughter came easily to an audience beset by a barrage of puns covering a range of subjects.
I’m sure I won’t be the only one who finds it unfortunate that the standalone nature of these oddities makes them difficult to recall after the event. I particularly enjoyed moments where Jones makes deliberate “mistakes” just to show that he’s anticipated the audience’s thinking.
Jones is questing on a trail not taken by many others. His show is finely tuned silliness that rewards your sustained attention. Comedy pilgrims (except possibly teachers), accept no false idols in pursuit of perfect punnery; for enlightenment seek The Temple of Daft.
Milton Jones and the Temple of Daft
Supper Room – Melbourne Town Hall, Swanston Street, Melbourne
Performance: Thursday 26 March 2015
Season continues to Sunday 12 April 2015 (no show Mondays)
Bookings: 1300 660 013 or online at: www.ticketmaster.com.au
For more information, visit: www.comedyfestival.com.au for details.
Image: Milton Jones (supplied)
Review: Jason Whyte