The Pin: Ten Seconds With The Pin | Review by Paul Fleckney
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The Pin: Ten Seconds With The Pin

Note: This review is from 2015

Review by Paul Fleckney

A strange night at the office for sketch boffs The Pin. I’m not sure how aware they were, but there was a row of 20somethings who I swear were off their face, and I don’t mean from booze. There may not be enough stars in the sky, man, for their review of the evening they were having. Shame they were so distracting for a fair few people around them.

It’s not as if The Pin need any artificial zshuzshing up – they’re already known for their dizzying tricks as a sketch act, and this show consolidates their reputation without necessarily adding to their repertoire.

To give themselves the space to demonstrate what they can do, Alex Owen and Ben Ashenden present this show as if it’s a seminar on what sketch is, and how it works. They repeat sketches like it’s a workshop, stripping out a character or some of the text, giving us peepholes into a skit, then moving the peephole.

In one about a man getting a blue plaque on the wall of his house, they do a new version without the blue plaque context, which essentially abstracts the script. In another, three people are required, so Owen and Ashenden repeat the sketch with a different person missing each time, so that the comedy flares up in a different place. They are to sketch what MC Escher was to architecture.

Which isn’t to say it’s especially smartarse: This is a consistently funny show, and some of it is as silly as having fun with a pointing stick, or a randy ghost. At their best they’re simultaneously absurd and smart – such as their one about a man simply trying to get out of bed and answer the phone, or their ongoing list of words they repeat in the course of the show.

One new aspect is that Alex Owen is playing a little dumb, illustrated by his dressing in slightly over-sized clothes, which gives them a superficially more conventional dynamic as a pairing. It’s a bit disconcerting if you’ve seen them before, I don’t think it would be an obstacle to anyone new to them, though.

I don’t think this is the pair’s career high – a few sketches don’t quite scratch the itch, including the much-vaunted finale – but it is another damn fine hour of comedy.

Review date: 19 Aug 2015
Reviewed by: Paul Fleckney
Reviewed at: Pleasance Dome

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