EDINBURGH 2019: BWW Review: MAX AND IVAN: COMMITMENT, Pleasance Dome
When Ivan got engaged, he had an important question to ask. Once Max said yes, he set to work to plan what would be the best stag do ever seen for his very best friend. With about a 75% party planning success rate and time on his hands, what could go wrong? As the two men behind cult fringe success The Wrestling and last year's Prom Night, you can be sure any event planned between the two will be on a grand scale.
The entire show is a celebration of their friendship, but it begins before they met, exploring childhood dreams with school drawings, photographs, audio recording and video. Though some of it is clearly invented for this performance, it still creates a funny and heartwarming picture of two boys who would grow up to be best friends. That, if nothing else, is not performed.
Max takes us on a journey through the event's planning. We meet key players in the stag, from Ivan's childhood friends to beleaguered hotel staff to made up characters absolutely essential to the success of the event. The stakes are always high, and though you know it must have been successful, still he brings you fully on the journey, willing it to work.
Tech is used well throughout and the narrative is broken up by silly jokes, arguments about what should be in the show and lessons in 'Ivanglish'. When the stag party, and the show, reaches its ambitious conclusion you can't help but be lifted; hearts well and truly warmed. It's a show to watch with your best friends, and if you've any big parties to plan you may get a few tips along the way.