The Pin @ Pleasance Courtyard

The Pin are sketch comedy at its purest

Review by Yasmin Hackett | 03 Aug 2018
  • The Pin: Backstage

Ben Ashenden and Alexander Owen are the faces of the 'as-heard-on BBC Radio 4' comedy duo The Pin. Their charisma and chemistry alone is normally enough to deliver a guaranteed success. In Backstage, however, they would try and have you believe that they are not, in fact, the stars of the show. Instead, it is their alter egos who they convincingly suggest are the ‘true’ stars everyone is waiting to see. Some side-splitting physical comedy arises from this, as they switch from one character to another between each breath, interweaving a wonderfully puerile and inspired use of props.

But don’t let that fool you into thinking this is all that Backstage boils down to. There are some brilliantly clever jokes, too, and in among the fast-paced physical comedy the duo are able to spare enough time for a knowing look at the audience, who feel as though they too are in on the joke. And they are, because Ashenden and Owen know how to work a crowd. As strong as the structure is, though, it's secondary to the pair's natural talent, which they demonstrate by crafting a brilliantly enjoyable hour with moments of plain silliness – which has the audience roaring with laughter. 

The Pin: Backstage, Pleasance Courtyard (Two), 1-27 Aug (not 11 & 20), 8:00pm, £7-12.50

Scroll on to read more of The Skinny's 2018 Edinburgh Fringe comedy reviews; click here for a round-up of all the best reviews from this year's comedy and theatre programmes