Foil, Arms and Hog: Irish sketch comedy

By Alanta Colley

Foil Arms and Hog bring their particular brand of mirth and mayhem all the way from Ireland to this year’s Adelaide Fringe.

The trio take you on an adventure into the competitive domain of sandcastle making. We learn of the murky underworld of the ‘net people’, local parish talent quests, the terrifying prospect of spontaneously having to learn sign language,  14 year old love and syncopated IT usage. Each sketch holds a kernel of a deliciously original idea and richly developed characters.  Along the way we are witness to an excellently executed sword fight. A true highlight of the show.

Unfortunately, each sketch dragged out for a good five minutes after the punch line had been delivered, which weakened the impact of the piece.  After each sketch the performers had a habit of breaking character and providing commentary on it, which had the effect of letting the energy of the performance drop. It felt as if there was a solid 40 minutes of material here, which had been stretched unwillingly to an hour. While all three performers displayed polished and interesting characters, with deliciously convincing accents, wonderful facial expressions, and excellent stage craft, they habitually pulled focus from each other, which muddied the plot and confused the audience. That said, the few times the trio had an opportunity for improvisation we saw them at their best. They expanded like a gas to use all available space in various combinations; the audience sometimes becoming sandwiched betwixt the performers. They gave the fourth wall a solid massage and played with multiple methods of engaging the audience throughout the show.  With a bit of tightening this show is going to be amazing.

If you’re in the mood for some original, energetic, and fast on their feet impro-infused sketch, Foil Arms and Hog will stand and deliver.

Foil, Arms and Hog: Irish sketch comedy is on at Sugar til March 5.