Max and Ivan: The Reunion

There will be leaping and spinning, there will be theme music and coloured lights, and your expectations of what is possible with a two-man cast will be changed forever. Two years ago they were Holmes and Watson; last year they were Con Artists; this year Max and Ivan are an entire school reunion made up of old friends, enemies, horny geography teachers, the classmate no-one can remember and the lovelorn hypo-allergenic Brian no-one could forget. For Brian, The Reunion is a chance to tell the love of his life and best friend of seven years how he feels about her. If only it could be that simple.

For newcomers to Max and Ivan's breathless style of character comedy, this will be a magnificent introduction, if perhaps a little confusing at times. Depicting a tense love triangle with only two bodies means that Max has to be in a relationship with himself - hilarious at times, but very tricky to stage without looking a little amateuristic. Despite this, the talents of these two comics are such that each attendee at The Reunion is absolutely distinct from one another- accent, mannerism and stance changing completely from one moment to the next.

Somehow amongst all this highly polished, finely tuned scripting, there is still room for improvisation, audience participation and, as ever, things to go wrong. When they do, we are even more impressed with the smooth and swift integration of these minor events - like an audience member's phone going off during our hero's meeting with his beloved - into the course of the act. Flashbacks play out simultaneously with present-day events, and welcome speeches from both 2003 and 2013 orated at the same time were particularly inspired, showing the differences between our aspirations upon leaving school and our actual achievements having reached the real world.

As comedians, Max and Ivan are surreal and rounded, swooping from highly intellectual to slapstick and back up again. As story-tellers, they are absolutely absorbing, drawing us in and showing us genuinely touching moments between characters who, mere moments before, had us falling about laughing. As a duo, they are completely in sync. As a show, The Reunion is simply wonderful.

Reviews by Jenni Ajderian

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The Blurb

Class of 2003, assemble! Melbourne Festival Barry Award Nominees 2013 and Foster’s Award-winners, Max and Ivan (BBC Radio 4, BBC3) spin a bewitching tale of love, loss and shatterproof rulers. ‘Hugely ambitious and impressive’ (Guardian).