Foxdog Studios: Robot Chef

FoxDog Studios are back – and they are as witty, quick and entertaining as previous years. Lloyd Henning and Peter Sutton make up the duo, who greet the audience clad in wires and electronic pads (that we soon discover are musical instruments, of sorts). In their day-to-day jobs the comedians are IT consultants, but during this Festival they showcase their robot cooking appliances, performing improvised musical numbers, and displaying their programming skills, in this self-confessed afternoon party.

FoxDog Studios encompass the true meaning of interactive audience participation.

If you have a friend or family member that is never off their phone, or struggles to tear themselves away from the blue light during a performance fear not, this is the show to take them too. One of the few things you’ll need to fully experience and enjoy this performance is a working smart-phone. Henning and Sutton are our slightly-awkward and slightly-nervous hosts for this party at Boteco and they provide all the key elements needed for a great time: music, party games, conversation starters and, of course, party food. However, if you're not much of a party-starter, you'll be relieved to hear that to interact with the rest of the audience, you don't have to leave your seat. The aforementioned phone will turn you into your alter-ego for the afternoon as you are transported into FoxDog Studio’s virtual reality and party.

There are continuous surprises throughout the show and the pair’s mixture of musical entertainment, interactive games and competitions, and some inventive cooking, mean that there is never a dull moment or lull throughout the hour. The 'Robot Chef' is instantly recognisable when you walk in, looking precariously balanced, and instantly posing a lot of safety hazards and questions. However, by the end you’ll be begging to have a taste of the delicious meal the entire audience helps to cook up. The skill and talent that has gone into each robot and element in the virtual reality that FoxDog Studios present is hugely impressive and the complete attention and smiles from the audience are evidence enough that this work has paid off. Henning and Sutton themselves are wonderfully compatible as a comedic duo, the two are instantly likeable and act like the perfect party hosts.

FoxDog Studios encompass the true meaning of interactive audience participation, allowing individuals to get involved in the performance without fear of being called out in front of a crowd. This is a show for those who are tech-savvy, those with a competitive spirit, those who love games, or those who just want a solid hour of entertainment, laughs and a bit of something different.

Reviews by Sarah Virgo

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The Blurb

After a year building an invoicing system in Stoke, rock and roll IT consultants Pete and Lloyd are having a party celebrating the end of dBASE IV. Returning with more music, characters, and baffling tech – including an augmented reality world and an audience controlled robot chef – this is their most ambitious show yet. As heard on BBC Radio 4 Extra. Nominated for the Chortle Award for Innovation and two Malcolm Hardee Awards in 2016. ***** (Skinny). **** (List). **** (Time Out).

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