Max’s break proves to be a lucky one as he wins festival award

FUNNY GUYS From left, Max Olesker and Ivan Gonzalez with their comedy award
FUNNY GUYS From left, Max Olesker and Ivan Gonzalez with their comedy award
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A COMEDIAN from Somers Town has won a coveted Foster’s Comedy Award at the Edinburgh Fringe – despite breaking his ankle during the show.

Max Olesker and his comedy partner Ivan Gonzalez won the Panel Prize at the awards, originally known as the Perrier Awards.

Their show, The Wrestling, was chosen by a panel of comedians for best encapsulating the spirit of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe – a month-long celebration of funny business held annually in Scotland’s capital.

A one-off performance of The Wrestling took place in the Pleasance Grand Theatre in Edinburgh on August 15. It featured 20 comedians acting as wrestlers, commentators, ring announcers, interviewer and managers, in a ‘good versus evil’ showdown set in a wrestling ring in the centre of the 770-seat theatre.

Last year’s Foster’s Best Show award-winner Russell Kane captained ‘the goodies’ and this year’s recipient of the same award, Adam Riches, opposed him as head of ‘the baddies’.

Other famous faces included Mark Watson, Patrick Monahan and this year’s Foster’s Best Newcomer, Humphrey Ker.

Max, 24, formerly the youngest professional wrestler in the UK, was injured but somehow continued to wrestle, only going to hospital after the performance had finished.

The injury forced him to take three days out of the duo’s other Fringe show, Holmes and Watson, and change it to include a set of crutches.

Max said: ‘Winning the award was incredible because it was a show that came from nowhere and snowballed in the most unimaginable way.’

He works as assistant to the editor of Esquire magazine, runs a Time Out Critics’ Choice monthly comedy night called The Roffle Club and is currently touring the UK as compere for former Britain’s Got Talent winners Spelbound.

Max also has two very talented brothers – Huw, a rising star in the music industry and Leo, a budding filmmaker.

Their father Stuart, course leader for Creative Arts at the University of Portsmouth, said of Max and Ivan: ‘They did very well. With competition from thousands of people, it’s difficult to get attention. But by mixing his two loves of wrestling and comedy, Max seems to have done it.’