After parodying Holmes and Watson and pulling off a heist movie-style thriller, what epic setting will slick sketch duo Max and Ivan tackle in their latest Fringe show? Answer: a school reunion.
Yep, the pair’s latest offering might not feature car chases or fight scenes, but by choosing a theme a little closer to home they’ve produced a warmer, funnier and more engrossing hour that’s a feelgood triumph.
The story centres around Brian Bollingsworth – 28-years-old, hyper-allergic and ‘struggles with cheese’ – who sees his school reunion as a chance to finally admit his true feelings to childhood sweetheart Jessica. Of course, things aren’t quite that simple: Brian was always firmly in the ‘friend’ camp to Jessica, and she now has a good-looking Swedish douchebag of a boyfriend.
Along the way, we meet a handful of Brian’s school acquaintances – the boringly-named Alan Jones, remembered by no-one, not even childhood girlfriend of seven years, is particularly heartbreaking – and the scenes seamlessly flip between the reunion and schoolday flashbacks in which seemingly throwaway jokes neatly return and link together.
We all knew a Brian Bollingsworth at school, and it’s these comically exaggerated yet eerily familiar characters, all played exquisitely by the duo, that drive the cheesy, ’80s-teen-movie narrative. And if you’re not rooting for Brian when he finally gets his George McFly moment, see the school nurse immediately; there’s something wrong with you.
See 'Max and Ivan – The Reunion' at the Edinburgh Fringe
See Max and Ivan in London
Max and Ivan aren’t just any old sketch act – their feel-good storytelling shows are like live Hollywood movies, complete with explosions, love interests and unexpected twists. Max Olesker and Ivan Gonzalez play all the characters, and seamlessly switch between them. It’s impressive stuff, and earned them a Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award nomination in 2013. 'The End' is another warm, touching, very funny hour from the talented pair, themed around the doomed small town of Sudley-on-Sea… KA-BOOM!Read more