A physical romp through an ocean of characters
This article is from 2013.
For some acts, the breakdown of their technology is a disaster akin to temporarily losing a limb. When microphones malfunction on three separate occasions, Mark Chavez and Shenoah Allen simply wait for their techies to sort the problem, making comedy hay from the predicament. Of course, we don’t know what gruesome consequences might take place behind closed doors afterwards, but onstage, the Pajama Men are the picture of restraint, riffing on their hushed circumstances, musing on what life is like when everyone at the back of a very large, sold-out room can hear each utterance with clarity.
For those familiar with the Pajamas physical / character-led thing, Just the Two of Each of Us won’t hold too many surprises. The pair roar, bellow and whisper their way through various duos (jealous lovers, old men, newsreaders, a medieval king and his Igor-like servant, a cop riding a motorcycle) as a complicated story of an ancient quest somehow touches everyone in their tale.
It’s easy to simply sit back and wonder at the inventiveness of the Pajama Men (their only props are two chairs while the now established third member, Kevin Hume, provides a musical backdrop to proceedings) and it’s just as much fun to watch them enjoy themselves. Possibly the larks they are having sometimes go too far, the giggling a little obtrusive, but being able to laugh at your work is surely one of life’s joys.
The secret of their success stems from an ability to just about do the lot: they are naturally funny, brilliant mimics and can vividly portray any number of people or things (here, an arcade machine or a human-eating monster). No wonder they’re having the last laugh.
Assembly Roxy, 623 3030, until 26 Aug (not 12, 19), 9pm, £13–£15 (£12–£14).