Review: ‘Presentation is Everything’ combines stand-up and PowerPoint for an hour of immaculately polished comedy
21.04.2022

Review: ‘Presentation is Everything’ combines stand-up and PowerPoint for an hour of immaculately polished comedy

Presentation is Everything
Photography by Nick Robertson
words by sidonie bird de la coeur

As the "the antidote to every bland lecture, dull pitch and boring presentation you’ve ever had to endure", 'Presentation is Everything' blends stand-up and sketch in this fast-paced and intricately crafted show.

Presentation is Everything is a new hour of stand-up comedy from home-grown local comedians, Sweeney Preston and Ethan Cavanagh. Dressed to impress in matching velvet suits and bow ties, Preston and Cavanagh navigate their sets with infectious playfulness, presenting an incredibly polished and intricately crafted routine that keeps audiences on their feet.

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Both comedians are given time to shine with their own solo stand-up repertoire, separating for a solo routine each and reuniting in between their acts. Impeccable comedic timing and effective multimedia usage bolsters this artfully crafted script, with the two comedians bouncing off each other immaculately. Preston and Cavanagh are shaping into seasoned professionals, having met in 2019 and performing their show Very Mature in last year’s Comedy Festival. Nestled in-between the plants at Loop Project and Space Bar, a space which Preston and Cavanagh lovingly refer to as a hybrid of “the plant section at Bunnings and … Revs,” Presentation is Everything represents an elevation of the pair’s comedic skills – with tighter routines, more cohesive acts and an ingenious use of multimedia. Particularly of note is the PowerPoint presentation in question – described as “the antidote to every bland lecture, dull pitch and boring presentation you’ve ever had to endure,” the multimedia aspect of Presentation is Everything is expertly implemented. Notably hilarious moments include the addition of quotes from people who have become unknowing participants in Preston and Cavanagh’s mischievous antics – such as comments from the Mayor of Maryborough and Preston’s university lecturer.

Following the unsustainable travel journey of his jacket that he purchased specifically because it was marketed as the world’s most sustainable jacket, Preston’s set explores climate anxiety, betrayals and tearful reunions. Delivered in true informative PowerPoint fashion, Preston’s hilarious use of graphs and misplaced business jargon is a highlight. With the re-emergence of a special guest at the conclusion of his routine, Preston rotates seamlessly between traditional stand-up and surreal, absurdist sketch comedy.

Ethan takes us on a journey to the Maryborough Train Station in a set that navigates discovery, conspiracy and finally – acceptance. The absolute truth around “the station with a town attached” is bought into question through particularly hilarious dissections of trip advisor reviews, brochures found at the station and in-person testimony. It’s a laugh-out-loud routine and a genuinely impressive and extremely engaging example of great storytelling, with reoccurring characters and themes that make up an unlikely hero’s journey.

Presentation is Everything is a delightful hour of refined stand-up comedy, delivered with fast-paced enthusiasm that keeps the energy levels high throughout the show. If you have a chance to see these guys perform, definitely check them out.

★★★★☆

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