comedy

Mudfest Comedy Gala: Meet Foolery Press

August 19, 2019

Lauren Berry

“Foolery Press is – and we make no apologies for this pun – hot off the press.”

Their words, not mine.

Winners of the 2019 Melbourne University Comedy Competition, sketch comedy group Foolery Press are hosting a free Comedy Gala Night this Friday (23rd August).

The event, part of Mudfest’s Late Late Night, will be held at the Ida Bar from 7:30pm-9pm. Members Sweeney Preston, Dan Crowley and Finn McGrath will perform alongside several of Melbourne’s best up-and-coming sketch and stand-up performers, including:

— Headliner Danielle Walker (Winner Raw Comedy, Winner Best Newcomer Melbourne International Comedy Festival),
— Jake and Ella (Sold Out Season MICF 2019),
— Paul Noodle PhD. Candidate (Winners 2018 Unimelb Comedy Competition),
— Ethan Cavanagh (Raw Comedy state finalist),
— Unimelb’s own Mudcrabs.

Foolery Press met working on the 2018 Melbourne University Law Revue where they clicked as both performers and friends. Sweeney and Dan were co-directors of the Law Revue Alumni’s sold out comedy festival show ‘All I Want For Christmas is Revue’, and Finn was a member of the 2019 Law Revue.

The trio created their new brand this year, performing live in events such as Up Next Comedy at Arts Centre Melbourne, as well as creating online satire content.

“The minutes recorded at our meetings document serious business pitches and heartfelt romantic advice,” they said. “We’re comedy partners, but we’re also best friends.”

Yet, despite the many “in-jokes” in their group chats, the trio pride themselves on having a stage presence that’s easily enjoyed by all – their jokes, they said, are “accessible and relatable… thoughtfully crafted and constructed, and performed with an energy and intensity that will leave nobody out of the fun.”

When I asked the guys how the Gala came about, they said a group conversation went much like this:

— “Let’s host a variety show at Uni with some of Melbourne’s best young sketch talent.” 
— “That’s an infeasible suggestion.” 
— “True.”

However this “seemingly infeasible suggestion” was just that – only ‘seemingly’ infeasible. The Mudfest team helped the group make their idea a reality, looking after production and admin whilst letting Foolery Press workshop material and source acts for the night.

They also gave the group the opportunity to seek out an industry mentor – Andy Matthews (writer for Shaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell) – to help guide artistic development.

“Normally, Dan handles all script-editing and Sweeney directs the on-stage performances. Andy’s perspective and insight has given us more confidence in our roles, allowing us to hone our craft and explore every angle of the creative process, from pitch to practice,” Foolery Press said.

Although they declined to tell me which other performer/s they were most excited to see [“We’d never choose a favorite child. But… No we couldn’t.”], the group said they were overjoyed – in fact, it was “producer’s paradise” – that each and every act was available to contribute to the show.

“Ethan is an extremely sharp, young stand-up, Jake and Ella (Jake Glanc, Ella Kamer) and Paul Noodle PhD. (Jacob Sacher, Jack McGorlick, Sandro Falce) are both fresh off their respective sell-out comedy festival runs and the Mudcrabs, true to form, are continuing to be the most prolific comedy group on campus,” they said. “We love them all. They’re all our favourite children.”

Find Foolery Press at their website: foolerypress.com and on Facebook and Instagram @foolerypress.

Read the full Mudfest program here.