Sketch comedy offers a smorgasbord of flavours in a single hour, able to take us anywhere in the flash of a punchline and then move on. It's this freeform potential that beckons today's butterfly attention spans, which is why it's enjoyable to see The Pin jump from one engaging scenario to another without preciousness or a second thought.
The show's chief asset is the clear long-time relationship between stars Alex Owen and Ben Ashenden. The slick writing is shot through with a seam of the pair's joint humour, running from silly to clever to just plain random. Their choreography has a familiarity that only comes from hours of practice and a genuine fondness. The sensitivity to their own art form is also deliciously playful, leading to snapshots of a more meta show entirely, without ever delaying the show's onward march to the next scene.
The duo frame the show as joint compères, introducing sketches by titles, blackout and sometimes—enjoyably—from personal context. There's a sneaky fun in seeing glimpses of the happy comedy life they must live together – an exercise not new, but still freshly performed.
It's tight, with props at a minimum but used to maximum effect—whether a blanket or a "pointy stick"—and they're not afraid to abandon a scene after a single big punchline. Equally, The Pin is brave enough to explore and re-explore the potential of a single scene. Not that this always leads to consistent quality in the variations, but that hardly matters when the next version is only moments away.