If you go to a comedy show and sit in the front rows you know there is always the chance you’re going to get picked on. A word of warning then, if you go to a Foil, Arms & Hog show, nowhere is safe from the Irish trio. Front rows, back rows, middle of the theatre, boxes, audience, staff, nowhere and nothing is out of bounds for the ninety minutes the three Irishmen are performing as a packed York Barbican found out.

Primarily improvised sketches, Foil Arms & Hog set the bar early on dragging two members of the audience out of their seats and onto the stage immediately including them in their show. Yes, it immediately put the rest of the audience on red alert but it also made for a brilliant start. For the next ninety minutes, the three regularly jumped back to their victims sometimes including them in a particular sketch sometimes just referring to them as part of a gag. The three hurtled through sketches at a breath-taking pace, some sketches lasting a few minutes some lasting barely thirty seconds and, as is the case with comedy of this nature, everyone has their own favourite sketches.

Given the improvised format of the show, you’re always left wondering what is coming next and, watching the three friends performing, it’s obvious at times that applies to them as well. Regardless of how many times they’ve run through a routine, there are moments during the show where they’re thrown off guard by an unplanned joke or they’re simply following the flow of whatever tangent a particular routine veers off at. Either way the end result always teeters on the edge of complete chaos but somehow never falls apart paying testament to the absolutely insane brilliance of these three Irishmen and their utterly bonkers show.

Read our interview with the three comics here.

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