Milton Jones offers Guildford, Worthing, Crawley and Bexhill dates on stage return
King of the one-liner Milton Jones is delighted to be back on the road after an 18-month enforced absence.
In his latest show, Milton: Impossible, he offers a tale of double lives and international subterfuge, all with his signature silver-tonged silliness.
Dates include: G Live, Guildford on November 6; Worthing’s Assembly Hall on November 19; The Hawth, Crawley, on November 27; and Bexhill’s De La Warr Pavilion on February 4.
“We did 30 dates until the middle of March last year and then that was that. I had to mothball it for a year and a half and now I have dusted it off and taken bits out and added bits in.
“Originally we thought it would be weeks and weeks rather than months and months or years and years, but then we were able to do open-air gigs and things in the summer and then it was all back into lockdown again.”
And Milton has missed it. He has missed the adrenalin of performing, just the buzz of being on stage with a live audience in front of him.
And it was only when that prospect was real again that he was able to pick up the show and prepare it. He needed that deadline.
“It was not until I knew that I would actually be facing real people again that I could even contemplate it.
“I was always the kid at school that did his homework at the very last minute. I always needed that push just to get on and do it.
“It was only when we were nearly there that I could start thinking about this tour again and what I could add in and what I could take out.”
The delight is that a lot of people seeing the show are people who have hung on to their tickets for a year and a half now.
As he says in the show, the British have got something very strong inside them: if they have paid for something, they will make sure they use it.
“The lockdowns were a mix of feelings really.
“To begin with, obviously, we just didn’t know how long it was going to take, and I just thought it was a nice rest to start with, and then it did all start to get darker.
“It was quite a low place, and it became clear that the theatres were going to be the last to come back, and it wasn’t clear what was happening with theatres with furlough and all the things that were happening.
“And it wasn’t just a case of the performers being ready but whether the theatres would have sorted out their cash-flow, whether they could actually open.”
Milton admits he was torn between not wanting to watch the news and genuinely needing to know what was happening: “And there was something about the arts in particular where if you are self-employed, you really didn’t get much help at all.”
Whether we will all emerge from this with a different and perhaps more appreciative mindset, Milton doesn’t know, but he would like to think so.
“It would be nice to think that people will change, but I do think there is a danger that people will just slip back. If there is another lockdown, a lot of people would just get very cross and it will really divide society, like with vaccine passports and so on. I think it would get very political.
“But in the shows, coming back, I think (at the start of the resumed tour), there is something of a honeymoon feel about it all, that people are just feeling glad to be back out. How long that will last, I don’t know.”