The Edinburgh Fringe
FAH have been going to the Fringe for the last 11 years, since 2009 when they had their first show at the comedy club Just the Tonic at the Caves. The last Fringe they attended was 2019; they were going to attend Fringe 2020, but it was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
In 2014, Arms (Conor McKenna) wrote a fascinating article describing the group’s experiences surviving the Fringe and said that one of the things that they had learned over the years was to “pack extra socks, fewer condoms, and more vitamins” (Irish Times). In a 2018 interview FAH was asked for their “best insider travel tip, for gigging comics”? Their response was: “Don’t drink. Unless you need to. And Travelodge. It’s dirt cheap and everywhere, you’ll need it” (British Comedy Guide). In a September 2019 interview regarding all the good and the bad of the Edinburgh Fringe, Foil said that he thinks the Fringe is “a week too long,’ suggesting that most performers have achieved everything they’re going to achieve by the end of week three” (Kate Nora Broadway Baby). The Fringe typically runs 25 days. As a final statement in the 2019 Fringe article, Foil gives this sage advice about the festival: “It’s great. It’s hard work, you’ll get really sick, you’ll lose weight, but it’s so, so worth it.”
Some of their Fringe shows have been: 2010: Strangers with Sweets; 2011: Comedy Doesn’t Pay; 2013: Late Night Irish Sketch Comedy; 2014: Loch’d; 2015: Skiddlywup; 2016: Doomdah; 2018: OinK; 2019: Craic-ling; 2020: Hogwash (Fringe cancelled).
Besides the time they spent at UCD in the Drama Society, and working on sketches, writing, and performing their own work, they have taken a course with clown performer Phil Burgers. About this experience Foil stated, “it’s one of the toughest things I’ve ever done. It was brilliant stuff. It helped us so much on stage, particularly when things go wrong, as we might get to a funnier place with those skills we learned” (Chortle 2019).
In 2014 when they visited Chicago and performed there, they also did a workshop at Chicago’s famous Second City comedy club. This training has led to a real embracing of improvisation in their sketches, and they have said that some of their most rewarding are those where audience members respond in unexpected ways during their live shows.
Social Media vs. Live Shows
FAH have a huge and wide-ranging social media presence. They have been on YouTube since October 26, 2008. Their Facebook page was created on May 9, 2009, and they joined Twitter in December 2009. It appears that they joined Instagram in August 2014. They also have their own website: foilarmsandhog.ie, and they recently created a Patreon page in May of 2020 to support their comedy work.