FOIL ARMS AND HOG – HOGWASH at Edinburgh Festival Fringe
“it’s the ease with which they can improvise if the occasion requires, that makes this live show such an enjoyable experience”
Foil, Arms and Hog are a genial trio of Irish comedians who’ve developed an engaging stage show, that includes a great audience connection. Hailing from Dublin, they tour the world performing their sketches. Their family friendly material, consisting of well observed character sketches, have earned them a loyal following. And the fans are turning out in force this year for these gifted comedians at McEwan Hall in Bristo Square at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
The guys, aka Sean Finegan (Foil), Conor McKenna (Arms) and Sean Flanagan (Hog) don’t hesitate to get stuck in and introduce themselves to the audience before they’ve even reached the stage. Entering through the auditorium, they’re running around, engaging with the punters, rummaging through people’s shopping bags, and then taking said bags up onto the stage. Allegedly to stop audiences from leaving. But faint chance of that. Foil, Arms and Hog already have us in the palm of their hands. Besides, we want to discover what’s in those shopping bags. They’re chatty and informational — we learn, for instance, that McEwan Hall is haunted. Cue Arms on stage as a ghost. From that jumping off point, the entertainment morphs into a murder mystery, a running gag about overweight suitcases, escaping from a retirement home, a spot on takedown of the musical, and Robot Dad.
Foil, Arms and Hog, who met in college (hence the nicknames) play off against each other with the ease of friends who’ve known each other a long time. Foil, as you would expect, is usually the slightly anxious one, playing off against Hog’s know it all. Arms is there to have a good time. They have plenty of good material, and more, to fill sixty minutes, but it’s the ease with which they can improvise if the occasion requires, that makes this live show such an enjoyable experience.
Good though their live performances are, the online performances of Foil, Arms and Hog are, if anything, even better. There they can develop, over time, storylines and characters, such as the hapless Óisin (played by Foil) and his overbearing mother (Hog). Someone should, and probably will, at some point, give these guys their own television show. In the meantime, their stage shows remind audiences that live comedy doesn’t always have to be stand up. It’s a refreshing change.
Reviewed 8th August 2022
by Dominica Plummer
For dates and venues for all Fringe shows, click on the image below