Brighton Fringe Review: Foil, Arms and Hog

15 May

Upstairs at Three and Ten: Sunday, May  6 2012

The hardest skill of the rapid-fire sketch show troupe is to maintain a consistency of output across an hour-long set.

It’s all very well having two or three stand-out sketches, but if the other 50 minutes is awash with sub-standard drivel, then that will be what lingers in the memory. Just ask Mitchell and Webb.

So fair play to Irish trio Foil, Arms and Hog for rattling through a consistently giggle-laden routine, despite only showing rare glimpses of top drawer originality.

They are at their best when they are at their most surreal and absurd. There’s a nice twist to their take on phone sex adverts, a brilliant physical routine to the music of Microsoft Windows and a lovely, left-field pay-off to a sketch about competitive sandcastle building.

Elsewhere their subject matter can be a little predictable (the demented priest, pitiful rapper and dumb sister to name three), but they are repeatedly saved by their boundless enthusiasm and the ability to squeeze out every last drop of hilarity from any given situation, however half-baked its premise.

This knack of always being able to pack in the laughs, complete with flourishes of brilliance, suggest Foil, Arms and Hog could step up to the next level if they dared to push the boundaries more.

If not, with a name like that, they could always set up a law firm instead.

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