Stars line up to aid Portsmouth Guildhall show in aid of Parkinson’s Disease research

Harry Hill
Harry Hill

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AN all-star cast of the country’s top comedians will be performing in aid of research into Parkinson’s Disease.

Portsmouth-born comedy sketch-writer and performer Max Olesker has raided his contacts book to put together a line-up including Harry Hill, Tim Vine and Katherine Ryan.

Max’s father Stuart Olesker, from Southsea, said he is very proud of his son for organising the event, An Evening of Stuff and Nonsense, at Portsmouth Guildhall tomorrow.

Mr Olesker said: ‘I’m delighted that Max has put such a great evening together.

‘It is in member of our friend Tony Francombe who died four years ago.

‘He was a polymath, the closest person to a genius I have ever met.

‘He had so many talents but in the last 15 years of his life he was robbed of all of them.

‘Parkinson’s disease eroded his artistry, poetry and even his talents as a singer.

‘The author Mervyn Peake also suffered for the last 15 years of his life and his work will be performed.’

Other performers to commit to the show are Neil Innes, Bea, Abandoman and Max with his comedy partner Ivan.

Those performers who can’t make the evening – such as Matt Lucas, Jenny Eclair and Sheila Hancock – will be there in spirit and on film, reciting nonsense to camera.

Max said: ‘There will be favourite nonsense works by Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear and Mervyn Peake plus filmed Goonery by Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan – and people simply saying funny things.

‘We want to help raise funds, awareness and a few laughs at the same time.’

Max, a former Priory School pupil, has carved out a career for himself in London.

With his comedy partner Ivan Gonzales, he has been touring the comedy circuit and performing at festivals around the world.

Their sketch show, The Casebook of Max and Ivan, begins on Radio 4 next month.

Doors for Wednesday’s show open at 6.30pm.

The show starts at 7.30pm.

Nearly 1,000 tickets are £15 for cabaret seating and it is £10 in the rear of the theatre or the circle.

Call (023) 9387 0200 or go to portsmouthguildhall.org.uk.