By Elyce Phillips
The Pajama Men (Shenoah Allen and Mark Chavez) are no strangers to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Back in 2009, they picked up the Barry Award and they’ve been a fixture of the festival ever since. Now the duo is back with ‘Just the Two of Both of Us’ – another very physical and very funny show. Armed with naught but two wooden chairs and musical accompaniment from Kevin Hume, The Pajama Men create a weird and wonderful world where men can be motorbikes and squirrels reporters.
There is not a dull moment in ‘Just the Two of Both of Us’. The pace these guys perform at is simply phenomenal. They whip between characters without missing a beat – from a king of legend and his wizard, to a teenage girl and her sullen boyfriend, to a couple of men driving and spitting out one-liners. It’s chaotic, but there is method to their madness and eventually all becomes clear in a hilarious and somewhat unexpected way.
The music from Kevin Hume was understated and beautifully suited to the show. The sheer loveliness of his live soundtrack was often an amusing counterpoint to the bizarre actions occurring on stage. Kudos to Hume for maintaining his deadly serious composure throughout! He is a stronger man than anyone else in the room. Even Allen and Chavez had each other laughing with the odd ad-libbed line throughout the night.
‘Just the Two of Both of Us’ is a truly wonderful show. The dynamic between Allen and Chavez is nothing short of brilliant. Their brand of physical humor is clever, silly and a lot of fun. It is one of the standout shows of the festival for mine.
The Pajama Men are performing at the Fairfax Studio at the Art Centre until April 21.