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Foil, Arms and Hog at Udderbelly Festival, 16 June

| Uncategorized | 12/06/2016

Foil, Arms & Hog, Ducks © Stephen Gallagher
Rating:

Next Thursday, comedy sketch trio Foil, Arms and Hog perform their second of three dates at Udderbelly Festival on the South Bank.  The Irish comedians have a cult following, gathering hundreds of thousands of hits for the entertaining videos they post on YouTube every Thursday.  

After meeting eight years ago at university, they’ve been around the Irish comedy scene for a while, earned rave reviews for their Edinburgh shows and are now looking to break the UK.  

Cora Robertson went to their last show at Udderbelly Festival in April to see what the boys have to offer and reported back for What’s On London.

Foil, Arms & Hog LineFoil, Arms and Hog played to a sold-out venue at The Southbank Centre early in the Udderbelly calendar and it was obvious why.

Right from the word go, the show was fast-paced, ridiculous and very, very funny as the trio jumped from sketch to sketch with dizzying speed.  And it was all killer, no filler.

As you might expect from an act who shot to fame via social media, audience participation is key.  But while traditional comedy acts often make you shy away from taking part, volunteers were falling over themselves to be in the show.  And the comedic chemistry was invariably on point.

The show opened with two bouncers on a date, each unable to allow the other entrance to any restaurant, bar or club because … well, because that’s what bouncers do.  In this and other sketches, there were countless references to classic comedy with lots of silly accents and funny walks.

These included a Scandinavia noir murder mystery (played in a language that wasn’t quite Swedish), an Irishman giving directions to a puzzled French tourist and a medieval king visiting a brothel wearing a Primark paper bag on his head.

The CIA boss who sent a white Irishman undercover as a Congolese woman could perhaps have stepped over the line into un-PC territory, but the trio made sure they were always the butt of the joke, and the scene was played with charm and grace.

Foil, Arms & Hog © Stephen GallagherAfterwards, I had a chance to catch up with the boys: Sean Finegan, Conor McKenna and Sean Flanagan – but not until they’d spoken to each and every person in the audience, taken photographs and generally been their charming selves.

They love the fan interaction and yes, they do really seem to be that nice.

The trio told me how delighted they are to be taking their show internationally, but admit to having experienced one or two teething problems along the way.

For example, they used to have a sketch about “sliced pan”, which didn’t seem to go down as well in England as they had expected.  Finally, an audience member let them in on the language barrier: “We’ve no idea what it is you’re talking about, but your accents are so great we laughed anyway”.  Now they’ve changed it to sliced bread and the joke lives on.  This inspired one of their most popular videos, How to Speak Dublin.

If you like the sound of Foil, Arms and Hog, check out their song about the horrors of flying with a certain low cost airline and then go see them live on 16th June or 8th July at Udderbelly Festival.  Their videos are funny, but they’re even better in person.

For tickets and info head to foilarmsandhog.ie, where you’ll also find details for their YouTube channel, or the Udderbelly website.  Or if you want a chat, say hello to them on Twitter @foilarmsandhog.

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