Saturday 13 October 2012


In twenty years time I know I'll be watching one of those Channel Four '100 Funniest Comedy Moments of the 21st Century' and there will be Max and Ivan. 'Ah, Max Olesker...' I'll say to the current Mr Trefusis, 'I knew him when he was the Assistant Editor on Esquire, long before he was the intergalactic mega-comedian on the telly. Very funny chap, even then, Max...'. and it's true, he is, even in the office on a deadline, and he's even funnier when in tandem with long-time comedy partner Ivan Gonzalez (apologies to Ivan for omitting the various impressive accents in his name: my blogger skilz don't run to them).

Anyway, hot from yet another Edinburgh Festival success (Max and Ivan were the Edinburgh Comedy Festival Panel Prize winners in 2011), their latest show, Con Artists, opens at the Soho Theatre, London, on 15th October. To quote The Guardian's Brian Logan, who puts these things better than I ever could, "Max and Ivan Are … Con Artists is a drum-tight parody of an overfamiliar genre – in this case, the heist movie – whose script is packed with scrambled cliches and flights of absurdist fancy....The Oceans-Eleven style set up sees Max Olesker's East End conman Jim ringing his old accomplices one by one, to assemble them for a final job. These include ace hacker Lavinia ("I've completed the internet on its hardest setting"), explosives ace Tim and his doting getaway driver Raoul, and a camp cat burglar called Graham. The plan is to infiltrate a Las Vegas casino run by Russian oligarch Dmitri, Who lurks in his lair listening to an audio book of Fifty Shades of Grey read by Alan Bennet"

All the characters are played by Max and Ivan who manage to switch between them in a feat of breathtakingly sophisticated comedic legerdemain. I can think of few better (or cheaper) ways to shake off the wet-weather blues than to grab a couple of tickets to the show. 

Max and Ivan are...Con Artists runs from 15th to 20th October at the Soho Theatre: the show starts at 8.30 on Monday and 9.30pm thereafter, leaving you ample time to grab a spot of pre-theatre something at the hip Burger & Lobster just a few doors down further along Dean Street.

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