Tag Archives: Max and Ivan

Punchline recommends Max & Ivan: Commitment

22 Aug


Words by Suzy Romer

Max and Ivan have an energetic, funny playfulness that reminds me of Alvin and the Chipmunks. They are quite as adorable and actually much funnier with silly jokes that belie their dazzling professionalism. They always do their homework and they are the kind of act you can absolutely depend on to put on a great show to the extent that you don’t even have to read what the show’s about before you go.

In case you DO want to know, this year it is about Ivan’s stag night, organised in characteristically grandiose style by Max with an almost Marx Brothers Night at the Opera level of orchestrated outrageous fun. They give us a few background details to the story of course, starting with their births… And as we romp through their childhood stories with plenty of sounds and images, I can’t resist looking repeatedly into the audience to see rows of enchanted smiling faces, laughing with fondness and surprise at the madcap projects the lads have brought to life over the years.

The careful, detailed writing of the show is wonderful, precisely because I didn’t think about it until after the show. They know exactly how to set up situations, in-jokes and inside information so that they can bring them back with a party bang of dramatic and comic effect at the moment of their choosing. This show made me wipe away tears of joy and I think I might love them. Too much? Go and see for yourself.

Buy tickets for Max & Ivan: Commitment here

8.20pm | Pleasance Dome | Until 25 Aug

Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award Nominees Announced

22 Aug

Words by Susan Ford Seann Walsh

We were very pleased over at Punchline to hear that our next headliner Seann Walsh has been nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Award, and wish him the best of luck come Saturday.

Also nominated is previous Punchliner Nick Helm, as well as some of our favourite comedians from this year’s Fringe: Carl Donnelly, James Acaster, Max and Ivan, Mike Wozniak and Bridget Christie have all been announced as contenders today.

Nominated for the very exciting Newcomers Award are Aisling Bea, John Kearns, Liam Williams, Matt Okine and Romesh Ranganathan.

The Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards are now in their 33rd year and are one of the most respected accolades in the world of comedy. Steve Coogan won the award in 1992 (known as the Perrier), and will be responsible for announcing the winner of the Award and the £10,000 prize at lunch time this Saturday.

It’s all very exciting!


Edinburgh Festival 2013 Preview: Max and Ivan

1 Aug

Words by Hannah Clapham-Clark

We often hope that double acts find love at first sight! How did you two first meet, what were your first impressions of each other and how did the idea of a having comedy act develop?

How does one come to the conclusion that the only possible way forward in life is to form a comedy double act? It’s probably the mutual loathing of “having a real job”, though I’d like to think a shared comedic sensibility was also a decisive factor.

Narrative sketch shows are still quite unusual, have you always gone for this style of comedy? What drew you to this approach?

We’ve dabbled in all sorts. Sketch, narrative, improv, fleeting and rare bits of solo stand-up and compering, not to mention Ivan’s three years touring a one-man minstrel show (highly disturbing, and completely unacceptable). But our current mode of performing – blending sketches and theatricality, with a beautifully interwoven narrative, and a vast array of dick jokes – has naturally evolved over the years.

The Fringe is fairly dominated by stand-ups, how is it working in a double act, is there a secret to it working successfully? Are there any main dis/advantages?

We presumed that as there are two of us, we’d get paid double. This really is not the case…

What is the process of writing a show which has a clear storyline? Where do the ideas for your characters and their distinct personas come from?

Our current show, The Reunion, is based on a 10 year school reunion. Now, we’re not saying that we’ve based a lot of the characters on old school friends, but if you happen to have gone to either Birkenhead Boys School or Priory School, then you might recognise some (all) the names.

How important is the Fringe and have there been any particular high/lowlights over the past few years?

M: The fringe is an all-consuming megalithic behemoth that drains you of every ounce of joy, energy and strength you have ever possessed. However, we love it dearly.

I: We once found a human shit outside our venue. That was pretty distressing.

This year you’re bringing wrestling back to the Fringe! What were your experiences of this from 2011 and what can we expect this time around? Did you predict such a positive response? And is there a secret skill Ivan has which could lead to its own show?

M: Other than shattering my ankle into a thousand tiny fragments (great work, my ankle) my experiences from 2011 were utterly magnificent. This time around, without giving too much away, you can expect an all-new roster of wrestling comedians, a comedian going one-on-one with a wrestler for the first time, and –

I: We’ve said too much. Come to the show. And, in the mean time, check out the steady torrent of videos we’ll be releasing in the run-up to the show. As Malcolm X once said, “shit’s going to get cray”.

It seems like the last few months have been pretty exciting with visits to Australia and SXSW, could you talk a bit about your time at these festivals? Has it differed to playing in the UK?

It’s been AMAZING! SXSW was a wonderful 72 hours of jet-lagged comedy, tacos, and awesome american comedians. And the Melbourne International Comedy Festival was better than we could have dreamed of – Australian’s were actually happy to be flyered, imagine that!

This year’s show is The Reunion, can you tell us a little bit about the story and what it’s been like to work with Tom Parry (from Pappy’s)? How have previews been going?

The Reunion is basically a love story, but it’s still funny… we’ve basically established a new genre that mixes romance and comedy, or ‘romedy’ if you wish. We’re hoping it catches on.

Speaking of love, Tom has been a brilliant director – we were a bit worried to step away from the wonderful Jessica Ransom (who directed our past two shows), but as she was busy filming until July we had to get someone new.

M:The first thing that happened under the Parry regime was to triple the amount of previews we had booked, which was dreadful and invigorating in equal measures.

Finally, if you could pick a dream third member, who would it be and why?

Tom (Parry) has often jumped into scenes during rehearsals, which has been fun – but we really don’t feel there’s much future in three-man sketch comedy. We heavily doubt it’d work.

Make sure to see Max and Ivan’s new show, The Reunion, at the Queen Dome, 8:20 through the Fringe.

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