Pajama Men: 2 Man 3 Musketeers (3 stars)

This article is from 2015

Pajama Men: 2 Man 3 Musketeers

A watered-down physical romp from the men who put the quirky in Albuquerque

The Albuquerque duo have long made a name for themselves by coalescing mime, physical comedy, sketch and the spirit of improvisation around some sort of theme. This year it’s Alexandre Dumas’ legendary novel with fundamental elements all present: Athos, Porthos, Aramis, wannabe D’Artagnan and a plot by Cardinal Richelieu to expose the Queen of France’s affair and undermine King Louis XIII.

It is easy to forget that the only visible elements are two gents in pyjamas (Shenoah Allen and Mark Chavez), two ordinary chairs and the highly talented musician Kevin Hume with his collection of instruments. The jewel of the piece is Allen’s Cardinal Richelieu. In a deliciously repellent feat of mime, he appears as a grotesque, undulating profusion of obesity dredging up a larynx-shredding approximation of language and phlegm.

But with Allen and Chavez playing a dizzying array of characters, the source material is buried. Digressive sketches involving bickering audience members detract from the piece’s overall cohesion and a reliance on cheap laughs from camp stereotypes and very large breasts undermines the duo’s immense talent. Leaders in their field who have inspired a plethora of younger comedians over the years, this outing, while sufficiently enjoyable, does not give them the chance to fully shine.

Assembly Roxy, 623 3030, until 30 Aug (not 24), 8.20pm, £14–£15 (£13–£14).

Pajama Men: 2 Man 3 Musketeers

  • 3 stars

Assembly Festival in association with Soho Theatre The shape-shifting double act return with a live, comic existential meltdown that takes place as two comedians attempt to stage an epic, historical, romance novel in under an hour. The spectacularly surreal Pajama Men have won acclaim across the globe. Peek into the…