Foil Arms and Hog – Swines
  • By Kate Nora
  • |
  • 5th Aug 2019
  • |
  • ★★★★★

The boys are back in town and they still believe in the stag! Irish sketch comedy trio, Sean Finegan, Conor McKenna and Sean Flanagan, return for another Edinburgh Fringe run with their new show Swines and a bag full of Poundland props.

Besides the light kleptomania of its stars, Swines is another bullseye for the Dublin lads.

The first thing you learn at a Foil, Arms & Hog performance is to arrive on time⁠ —anyone sneaking to their seat after 9pm is fair game. You might also want to hide your personal belongings in case one of the lads decides your backpack is the perfect prop for their next scene. Besides the light kleptomania of its stars, Swines is another bullseye for the Dublin lads.

Looking for a colonialism-themed traditional Irish music performance? Always wished Moonlight Sonata had lyrics? Wondering how a strong man competition might work if all the weights relied on the imagination of the audience? Yes, yes and yes. All of these common queries, and many more, are resolved satisfactorily within a single hour. Along the way you’ll meet an overly adventurous best man, the official “bad boy of mime” and Ludwig van Beethoven.

Despite being sketch-focused, Foil, Arms & Hog prove they are capable improvisators with their audience interactions and script deviations. As always, their banter and enjoyment working together gives the group a distinct air of likeability that sets them apart from the pack. They constantly crack up at each other’s antics and we want to be in on the joke.

Weaving together punchlines from previous sketches, references to audience members from the intro segment and brand new material, Swines is the kind of show that you can go to more than once without ever being bored. The trio manage to pull off scripted and polished routines while maintaining an air of spontaneity. Anything can happen when Foil, Arms & Hog are in the room.

The Edinburgh Fringe is a place of experimentation, where free standup in the basement of an Italian restaurant can be more entertaining than an expensive, as-seen-on-TV comedian on the main stage. You just can’t predict how your day is going to pan out. Swines is the antidote to all your Fringe fears. You’ll laugh, you’ll cheer, you’ll wonder where they’ve taken your bag. Do yourself a favour⁠ — buy a ticket and place yourself in the capable hands of this Irish trio. And remember, what happens on tour stays on tour.

Reviews by Kate Nora

Traverse Theatre

Clybourne Park

★★★★
PQA Venues @Riddle's Court

More Myself Than I Am

★★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

The War of the Worlds

★★★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

Found Footage Festival: Volume 9

★★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

Two Hearts: The Comeback Tour

★★★★

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Irish comedy, potato, potato, potato, potato, potato, potato, potato, potato, potato, potato, potato... you racist. Sold-out Fringe 2009-2018. Over 100 million hits on YouTube. Foil Arms and Hog return to the magnificent McEwan Hall with their brand-new show, Swines. ***** (Irish Times). **** (Times). ***** (Irish Examiner). 'Very funny' (Rowan Atkinson). 'An effervescent hour of fast-paced gags, fizzing with energy, invention and great lines' (Chortle.co.uk). 'Quite simply, a sensation' (Edinburgh Festivals Magazine).

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