Max And Ivan: Commitment
Cast: Max Olesker & Ivan Gonzalez
Review Date: February 28 2020
Location: Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool
Duration: 60 Minutes
Age Rating: 18+
Last night was a night of firsts for me: my first time at the Royal Court Studio, which sits within the Royal Court Theatre; my first time watching stand-up comedy; my first time experiencing Max And Ivan; and the first time I’ve rated a show 10/10. Yes that’s right, 10/10. Spoiler alert.
I wouldn’t usually be the type to review comedy shows as it’s generally not my bag. However, I made my way to the Royal Court Studio last night (fabulous set-up) and, with a small amount of trepidation and my fake laugh prepped and ready, I took my seat.
Max and Ivan are the creators of The Wrestling, BBC Radio 4 sitcom, The Casebook Of Max and Ivan, and they also appear together on BBC 2’s W1A. Commitment is their latest work, and they are currently coming to the end of a successful UK tour. Directed by Kieron Hodgson, it tells the true story of the unreasonable lengths one best man (Max) will go to give one groom (Ivan) the greatest weekend of his life.
It’s a non-stop hour of wisecrack gags, dodgy teenage antics, snappy one-liners and even a demo of one of the most hilarious talents I have ever seen….Facebusking. Unfortunately, it may not be coming to a high street near you any time soon.
Although the main focus of the show is the aforementioned stag do, the majority of the performance is putting everything into context, and who doesn’t love a bit of context. We learn of the childhood aspirations, the cringe-worthy teenage years and dodgy fashion choices of our two protagonists. Whereas the majority of us have any such embarrassing evidence hidden away by our parents, primed and ready to be rolled out in front of family and friends at a notable birthday, these two clowns parade their warts and all on the projector screen behind them. A projector screen from which the whole show is driven, like a performing monkey by a duo of organ grinders onstage. Or is it the other way round?
The level of production and use of the screen is so in keeping with the whole tempo of the show that, if it were to crash, the entire performance would fall apart. However, crash it did, and yet fall apart it didn’t. Technical errors can either make or break performers and when something goes wrong it’s a real test of a performer’s mettle. Max and Ivan showed just how good they are when having to go off script.
I don’t want to give too much away as already knowing the punch line can steal the thunder of a good joke. Rest assured, not only are there a ton of them in this show, the fact that it’s had rave reviews at Edinburgh Festival should convince you enough that this is worth your time and money.
Overall, Max And Ivan: Commitment is the quickest hour you’ll ever spend in a theatre. It’s filled with too many belly laughs to count, and an example of just what makes a boss mate and a boss stag do!
Target Audience: 18+
Content: Some Moderate Language
Overall Rating: 10/10 – Perfect
For more information about Max And Ivan: Commitment, click here.