Edinburgh Festival 97: Comedy: Milton Jones - Joyrider

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The Independent Culture
Selfless devotion to the art of the pun is usually rewarded with a one-way ticket to pro-celebrity golf tournaments. Still, the laconic Jones has ploughed his lonely comedy furrow to considerable success, not least a Perrier nomination.

Tonight, the pun, that flighty mistress, is as fickle as ever. At their best, Jones's deliberate, precisely weighted one-liners give his most appealing characters a curious kind of integrity. Most memorably, the apparently dazzling claims of his loony Captain Birdseye character are just semantic slips that he corrects maniacally with the refrain, "No, no, no! That's not true."

However, both Jones's Captain and his boggle-eyed, boiler-suited straight stand-up persona work so well precisely because they shamelessly flaunt the absurdity of constant wordplay. What variety there is disappoints. More ambitious characters such as the anorakish Biscuit Collector struggle to maintain the show's momentum.

Perrier Award exposure may open up new vistas for the Joyrider but where then? Long is the way of the pun, and hard.

Pleasance (Venue 33). To 30 Aug (not tonight) (0131-556 6550)