Comedy double act The Pin, comprising of Ben Ashenden and Alex Owen, are performing at Soho Theatre until Sat 22nd March.
Their sell-out run at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe and “best show” win in 2013 London Sketch Fest gave me high hopes. Sketch shows are often hit and miss, but this was one of the best written sketch shows that I’ve seen. Each sketch had been well developed and the comedy gradually built up as each became increasingly surreal. In one sketch, Frank Lampard recorded a TV advert but repeatedly went off script as he’d recently done an improve course. What The Pin does well, is to take a sketch or gag, turn it on its head and go off in another direction entirely.
Watching this act made me feel like I was at the Edinburgh Fringe, with the blend of sketches, audience involvement and intimate atmosphere. The Pin’s run in Edinburgh last year has stood them in good stead and this was a polished set. Ben Ashenden and Alex Owen have excellent chemistry and play naturally off one another. Alex interacts more with the audience and plays the more flamboyant characters, notably the Shakespeare jester.
I had a quick chat with Ben after the show and he told me this was their first experience of bringing audience members onto stage. He thought it was important not to make them say or do something too embarrassing too quickly. The audience participation worked well, with one made to referee a game called Vortex, which he was assumed to know the bizarre rules of.
With all good comedy shows, I left vowing to watch more new comedy and to definitely go to Edinburgh Fringe this year. At just £12.50 for an hour of well-crafted, laugh out loud comedy- I’d get down to Soho Theatre. Their last performance was this Saturday 22nd March but now an extra date has been added for 28th March!
Tickets can be purchased here.
Written by Martin Stocks
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