THE Guardian’s fourth best comedy show of 2019, Max & Ivan’s Commitment, will play Selby Town Hall on February 7.
“I’m delighted that Selby is the only Yorkshire date on their UK tour and am genuinely very excited to see the show in our little venue,” says Chris Jones, Selby Town Council’s arts officer.
“It’s one of the most talked-about comedy shows of last year, receiving a slew of four and five-star reviews for its Edinburgh Fringe debut, and an agent for an entirely different comedian told me last week that it was one of the best things she’d seen…and that doesn’t happen very often.”
Performed by comedy duo Max Olesker and Ivan Gonzalez, Commitment is the true story of how Max, as Ivan’s Best Man, attempted to reunite Ivan’s teenage band – Voodoo 7:2, the premier “art rock post-punk funk” group in mid-Noughties Liverpool – for one final gig.
“It’s a show about dreaming big, growing up, and trying – but ultimately very much failing – to make it in the band,” says Chris.
“Directed by multiple Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee Kieran Hodgson, it melds fast-paced visuals – including a wealth of embarrassing adolescent photos – with razor-sharp gag writing, classic double-act dynamics and a smattering of virtuoso multi-character performances.
“At its heart, the show is a storytelling hour about Max & Ivan’s real-life friendship and the lengths Max will go to in order to pull off the best night of Ivan’s life.”
Olesker and Gonzalez have performed at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival; the SXSW (South By Southwest) festival in Austin, Texas; UCB Sunset in Los Angeles and Brooklyn’s Union Hall in New York, as well as touring throughout Britain.
Among their past work is the super-show The Wrestling, where the world’s best comedians step into the ring and wrestle alongside enormous professional wrestlers in Edinburgh and Melbourne.
At last year’s Edinburgh Fringe, they debuted Max & Ivan’s Prom Night, an anarchic, interactive, 1950s’ high-school prom show-cum-party, to a sell-out, thousand-strong crowd in Assembly High, a purpose-designed location.
Max & Ivan created, wrote and starred in the BBC Radio 4 sitcom The Casebook Of Max & Ivan, attracting such guest stars as Matt Lucas, June Whitfield, Reece Shearsmith and Jessica Hynes, as well as appearing in BBC Two comedy W1A as Ben and Jerry.
“Max & Ivan’s Commitment tour is one of The Times’s picks of 2020,” says Chris. “I’m aware that Max & Ivan are not yet household names, but I would love as many people as possible to catch this 8pm show.”
Tickets cost £14 on 01757 708449 or at selbytownhall.co.uk or £16 on the door from 7.30pm.