Sketch comedy has the virtue that some bad material does not have to drag down the good stuff. The Pin needs no such saving grace, as it is from start to finish a rollicking success of character comedy that sits comfortably as one of the best sketch shows I've seen at the Fringe.
There are two lads in on this action and together, they have the same comedic dynamic as Pinky and the Brain. Alex is the Brain, annoyingly self-confident and constantly exasperated with Ben, who alludes every once in a while to being the autistic protagonist from The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. This relationship alone is a ripe playground for comedy and is returned to time and again as we are set up to anticipate the opening night performance of Alex's play, 'The Vicar's Secret'. In arguments between the two, Ben's face is the centre of laughs; never have I heard so much laughter spring from extended and absolute silence on stage.
Alex's character drives and promotes the show, pushing the catchphrase 'Wow, that’s a real Pin moment' on us, which Ben gloriously messes up. Instead he returns to the line at the most inappropriate of times, undoing everything Alex is straining towards. Ben instead expresses great confidence in the comedic success of finding crocodile lookalikes in the audience - there's an app for that, you know.
The golden moments of this show come by the bucketful, often in the form of little loving moments of Ben for Alex, who shirks his pawing and nuzzling quickly in favour of taking over the world, one West End at a time. The pair also prove their talent for impressions and observational comedy; in just one hour, we meet budding actor Frank Lampard, a fairly representative Ed Milliband and a riddle master with mental block, before taking part in the fantastic half-baked Pin Quiz, which includes answers such as 'Sorry?'. This is bang-on comedy, wholly taking the audience in with endearing characters, a bundle of wit and timing that the Swiss would envy.