The Pin (4 stars)

This article is from 2013

The Pin

Sketch poster boys lead from the front

Straight off the bat, you can see exactly where The Pin pair are coming from. A thousand times now, we’ve witnessed a double act which features one half who thinks he/she knows it all but is actually just as much of a buffoon as the other (Bottom, Steptoe and Son, Morecambe and Wise, Noble and Silver etc and etc). The Pin start from this familiar basis but send their fractured relationship off into wildly hilarious territory.

So here, Ben Ashenden is ostensibly the clown, casting child-like/sleazy sideways glances at the audience while the seemingly more professional Alexander Owen wants to crack on with the show, mainly to deliver the world premiere of his play The Vicar’s Secret. He believes his work is destined for London’s West End once the inevitable acclaim is heaped on it by critics in Edinburgh. No doubt, there are various scenarios already whipping around your head as to why this plan won’t reach its goal (chances are one of them will be correct) but there’s abundant fun to be had in following this ill-fated journey.

Word has certainly spread about the pair who claimed the inaugural Sketchfest title in May, and the venue is packed for their ever-inventive sketches in which a bumbling Ed Miliband tries not to make a fool of himself when meeting Barack Obama (he fails, horribly), an overly PC headmaster tries to impress a schools inspector and Frank ‘Franky Lamps’ Lampard inadvisably improvises his lines during a shoot for a razor ad. All the while, they want the nation to be chanting their catchphrase (‘that’s a real Pin moment’).

Whether the sketch show genre really is on the resurgence is a matter for debate within the comedy community. But if they’re looking for poster boys to lead the revolution, The Pin duo look to be set for the job.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 25 Aug, 6.15pm, £9-£11 (£8-£10).

The Pin

  • 4 stars

Pleasance. The Pin return to the Fringe, following last year's total sell-out run, with their best sketches yet. This is going to be big. As seen on BBC3 and ITV. Book now. 'Heavily tipped for future stardom' (Guardian). ★★★★★ (Skinny, ThreeWeeks). ★★★★ (List,, Ages 14+.