Edinburgh Festival Fringe comedy review: Pajama Men: 2 Man 3 Musketeers, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Jay Richardson
At THEIR unassailable best, Shenoah Allen and Mark Chavez are masters of a unique character comedy that flows with supreme fluidity. And in Allen’s portrayal of Cardinal Richelieu, a grimacing, oleaginous mass of liquid fat that alternately stomps and sluices across the stage, they’ve created one of their most memorable grotesques.
Unfortunately, the villain’s gushing appearances steal rather too much focus in an hour that’s too convolutedly episodic and at times difficult to follow, their liberal, free-wheeling interpretation of Alexandre Dumas’ great epic still somewhat inhibited by the basic demands of the imposed storyline. Indeed, even with the musketeers themselves reduced to supporting roles as militant thugs, and the addition of characters like a camp centaur and a couple of bickering old biddies, supposedly in the front row of the audience, the Pajama Men are overwhelmed by d’Artagnan’s adventures.
There’s still plenty to delight in and be dazzled by – the witty repartee sharper than an épée; a decidedly off-the-wall duel; and a wonderfully clunky performance of one sequence delivered as if by self-conscious US drama students. But by their own extremely high standards, the New Mexico duo have fallen a little short this year.
Assembly Roxy (Venue 139), run ended
Published in The Scotsman on 29 August 2015
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