“Three years ago, the manager of the Brunswick Hotel was looking for something different to run in the lounge. I racked my brain and tried to think up something that would go over well with the career drunks that frequented the place,” McDonald says.
“I’d describe it as a stream of unconsciousness which flows into sketch comedy. We present a two-act show in which all of the sketches flow together. Sort of like lateral, concentric thinking. It’s sort of... high-brow, with lots of fart jokes,” McDonald elaborates, describing FI’s style of comedy.
With actors Jeff Werkmeister, Niall Cooke, Aaron Youell and McDonald in the troupe, each bringing his own energy and personality to the table, it is only natural that differences of opinion arise. However, McDonald says FI uses such differences to its advantage.
“We get along extremely well, although we disagree from time to time on props and punchlines. That’s always going to happen, though. The best material comes from argument and debate. But just normal debate stuff — no serious fighting. We can always find a way out — we’re good at compromise.
“There’s little drama to be had in this group. It’s pure catharsis,” McDonald continues. “We’re just goofing around, trying to be as funny as we can be. We’re not so big on the punch lines, though; that’s why it all flows together. It doesn’t give the audience a chance to think about what just happened.”
McDonald feels the group’s madcap shows have been well-received thus far. “We’ve done really well,” he says. “The audience here in London is warm to comedy. The thing is that sketch comedy is not really being explored here, so we’re trying to do shows more regularly. We just presented [the two-act show] Attack of the Crow People and the house was packed. Everyone had a great time.”
When asked what FI has planned for the future, McDonald describes the troupe’s grand scheme to revive London’s sketch comedy scene.
“We plan on touring more,” he enthuses. “Right now we’re applying to sketch-fests and comedy festivals. We’ll be performing at the London Fringe and the Winnipeg Fringe as well. We’re trying to branch out and see what’s going on, be more of a touring company.”
Extending FI’s plans from touring and festivals to world domination, McDonald has some advice for Western students: “Pretty soon, Fully Insured will be on everyone’s curriculum, so you might as well familiarize yourself with it now. Seriously though, just show up, have a beer and a good time. Don’t be afraid to come out. Oh, and it’s fairly dirty, so don’t bring your kids.”
Fully Insured takes the Grad Club by storm this Saturday at 8 p.m.. Cover is $5 at the door.