Max and Ivan: This is The End

Edinburgh intros #21: It’s story time with Max and Ivan again, those fellas who were nominated for the main Edinburgh award two years ago and recently starred in W1A

Max and Ivan sketch comedians1. Hello boys! Lovely to have you back. Tell us a bit about the new one.
Max: Lovely to be back.
Ivan: Lovely to have a back. As for the new one – Prince George is a fabulous addition to the House of Windsor, and his adorable face is sure to be …
M: Swing and a miss, Ivan. Our show is called ‘The End’. In the sacred grounds of the Pleasance Queen Dome we vividly bring to life the inhabitants of an entire town– on the day of its destruction.

2. What’s your favourite bit?
M: I couldn’t possibly reveal the context, but the punchline is “Now that’s a well-watered hibiscus plant.”
I: Also, after the show Max gives me a biscuit, if I’ve done a good comedy.
M: Yep. If you’ve done a good comedy.

3. If your show were a dog, what breed would it be?
M: If our show were a dog, it would be a sign that something had gone terribly wrong in the process of developing the show. I don’t think the breed is particularly relevant.
I: A spaniel.

4. Whom will you be living with and how do you expect that to go?
M: We’ll be living over by the Meadows, along with our heroic techie, Lizzie, and the impossibly high expectations of our friends and loved ones.
I: Staying at the Fringe is normally great fun for the first four weeks, and then after that it gets a bit weird. There’s usually a new angry Scottish flatmate I don’t recognise, and eventually they physically make me put on my clothes and leave.

5. What will your Edinburgh daily routine be?
M: Pre-Wrestling? Monastic dieting, rigorous exercise and meditative focus. Post-wrestling? Upending a bottle of vodka over my head as I stand on top of Arthur’s Seat and howl at the moon.
I: I aim to attend one show a day. Preferably my own.

6. Do you enjoy the Fringe?
M: Yes. You initially get into it for the unparalleled opportunities for creative self-expression, but you stick around for the big money and the Q&As.
I: London’s a really competitive place for a comedian – it can often feel like some sort of industry-led meat market, in which creativity can get trampled on in the hunt for commercial success. So it’s great to get to Edinburgh and escape all that.

7. Is the show based on any decaying coastal town in particular …?
M: As someone who grew up in Portsmouth, I couldn’t possibly comment.
I: As someone who grew up on the Wirral, I couldn’t possibly comment.

8. Do we get to see either of you in flagrante in a seaside scene? Because if so, you really ought to put that in the press release. It’s a selling point, you know.
M: Whilst there’s no actual full-frontal nudity, there’s a scene that’s arguably, somehow, more explicit.
I: Put it this way, I’m fairly certain performing it has made me pregnant. Again.

9. Do you still think in terms of “sketches”? It seems like you’ve moved into full-blown comedy theatre shows. Which is no bad thing.
M: Our work falls deftly at the intersection of “sketches”, “skits” and “profound art”.
I: Our shows are complex yet simple. Chaotic yet ordered. Full of twists and turns but incredibly satisfying when you get to the end – ah, no, wait, I’m describing this Rubix Cube. Sorry.

10. Come on. Out with it. What’s Whitfield like?
M: The full details of the afternoon we spent with June Whitfield recording her episode of The Casebook of Max and Ivan are something I’m saving for my memoirs.
I: Let’s just say there’s a reason I got pregnant the first time …

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