Over a thousand people flocked to the Whitla Hall at Queen’s University Belfast on the 26th January 2019 for a Saturday night filled with laughs and comedy featuring the playful comedy trio Foil Arms and Hog.
Foil Arms and Hog are a successful Irish sketch group comprising of members Sean Finegan, Sean Flanagan and Conor McKenna. Their group name came from nicknames that they had for each other during university, where they started performing. They have amassed a huge following online, posting hilarious videos on their YouTube page every week. A recent hit was their “Brexit Divorce” video, which has gained over 440,000 views since November.
They also tour quite frequently, and Saturday’s performance was part of their 2019 “Craicling” tour. The group sold out two nights at the Whitla Hall, with many even queuing in the miserable rain outside.
Their comedy performance includes the trio interacting off the cuff with the audience. Before the performance, Hog walks into the audience, and jokingly scolds a young man for watching a video on his phone. He grabs the phone from him, sees that he was watching a pirated video, and he then performs that annoying, old anti-piracy advert “You wouldn’t steal a car” to laughs.
After this, he pulled various members of the audience up to follow behind him while he acted out a mock tour of the Whitla Hall. All featuring hilarious yet inaccurate historical facts about the hall with a stern broadcaster voice.
Once the performance starts, it is obvious to everyone as to their talent. They feature sketches on topics such as how to hold a baby, how to kill an actor, and a Gregorian chant. Their sketches include the use of props, miming, improvisation and a lot of singing. A lot of their talent stems from their use of accents, and they were not afraid to mock the Belfast audience on their thick accent, especially when bantering with the audience and each other between sketches.
The friendship of the trio is evident as they are clearly in tune with each other and bounce off each other, even finishing each other’s sentences throughout the performance. They weren’t afraid to laugh at each other and ‘break’, which appealed on the night to the audience. One of their sketches on ‘How to Hold a Baby’ featured the sight of a grown man holding another acting like a baby, which was hysterical to both audiences and each other.
Foil Arms and Hog are a charming and witty trio with their performances a perfect mix of choreographed sketches and improvisation. Their sketches are both smart and slapstick at the same time. But what adds to the performance is their charm and chemistry. They are genuinely enjoying themselves and having fun and so are the audience in return.