Ticketmaster Summer in Stages

In The Middle of No One

The Pajama Men
Charing Cross Theatre

The Pajama Men are two American comedians, Mark Chavez and Shenoah Allen, hence the American spelling of pyjamas. (Yes, they wear pajamas.) They had their first big success at the Edinburgh Festival in 2004 when they won the Perrier Award for the best newcomers. Since then they have gone on to win more and more awards in America and Australia. Their popularity grows apace.

They are not your usual stand-up comedians. They are very physical and very verbal in an absurdist, surreal, cartoonish sort of way. There are no props, no costumes. There are just them, a pianist and two chairs. They have very mobile faces.

Their act is difficult to describe. They are an acquired taste. They do not tell jokes. They do a lot of role play. They are constantly changing characters. Their lightening sketches begin and end in an abrupt manner. The ad-libs are polished. The rapport is good. They are likeable.

They are probably the most original double act I have seen since The Right Size; but often the way they are acting a situation is more interesting that the actual situation.

Much of their best work can be found in short clips from previous performances on You Tube.

High spots in their present show include speaking Chinese-French, imitating a Latin American bird having an orgasm, and funniest of all, pretending to be two marionettes on the invisible strings of a not very good puppeteer.

Reviewer: Robert Tanitch