Reviews: Pajama Men - 2 Men 3 Musketeers Ian D Montford - Under Sciencey Conditions

Pajama Men
Pajama Men
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ASSEMBLY ROXY, ROXBURGH PLACE

TWO men, two chairs, two pairs of pyjamas, one musician.

What’s it add up to? An hour of zaniness populated by dozens of characters and multiple overlapping storylines, each distinct, each bonkers, each contributing to this daft new twist on the familiar tale of ye olde France circa 1623 - albeit a 17th century with concrete and electricity. Just go with it.

It’s tempting to float along on a wave of silly voices, the sounds emanating from this duo are worthy of any Foley artist. They’re living cartoons, full of ‘kerpows’ and ‘splats’ and “boofs’.

But listen closely, for Mark Chavez and Shenoah Allen consistently bring a profound intelligence to the stage. Their wordplay is of the highest calibre and your attention will be repaid.

Embedded in this hour are countless sly jokes about acting itself. Elements of their shows are always improvised and what a joy it is seeing their minds ticking over.

Highlights of the night included the party scenes, their take on ‘Avant Garde!’, and news delivered in the style of a high school am dram play.

As bickering women in the front row critiquing the show we’re all watching, their antics will crease you in half.

Until August 30

LEE RANDALL

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PLEASANCE COURTYARD

THERE’S no shortage of mentalists/magicians performing at the Fringe. Problem is, the majority of them all perform similar pieces we’ve seen and heard before. Ian D Montford, however, is a little bit different.

For a start, he’s a good comedian in his own right. Second, it’s refreshing to see someone take a pop at mainstream ‘psychics’. It also helps that he can lull people into a false sense of security with his deliberately obvious fakery before surprising everyone with some genuine ‘how-did-he-do-that?’ segments.

Speaking in a camp Sunderland accent, it’s pretty clear Montford (played by Tom Binns) is mimicking a certain high-profile ‘psychic’ who has come under much criticism in recent years for, erm, dubious practices.

Indeed, the inspired pseudo science(y) conditions just adds to the much perceived notion that this whole psychic business is a load of old cobblers. When you laugh (which will be often) you’re almost laughing at yourself for ever believing any of it.

A canny mix, then, of comedy and magical mentalism, it’s refreshing to see someone (within the latter genre) have a laugh at themselves and not take the whole thing too seriously.

Anyone can foresee that, without the help of a medium.

Until August 30

BARRY GORDON