Foxdog Studios: Robo Bingo | Edinburgh Fringe comedy review
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Foxdog Studios: Robo Bingo

Edinburgh Fringe comedy review

Software engineers Lloyd Henning and Peter Sutton, aka, Foxdog Studios have returned to the Fringe with an hour that may exceed even the great Mat Ewins for sheer bonkers ingenuity. Is there anyone doing anything quite like this anywhere else on Earth?

The idea this time is that we’re playing bingo, and the audience are invited to log on to Foxdog’s personal wifi network and play along on their phones, compered by these two deadpan wizards and their sidekick Mr Bing, an unnerving spheroid robot that lives on-set in a cardboard tower with his pet toad.

It's difficult to make notes for a review at the same time as watching a live comedy show and playing a disorienting, ever-shifting game of mind bingo at the same time, so I can only imagine how they feel having to choreograph it.

But one of the most impressive things about this incredibly impressive show is the way all these moving parts come together. You couldn’t say it’s seamless exactly, but the regular intrusive pop-ups and monkeying from the audience (two of whom are engaged in an hour-long race to get the most bingos and ‘level up’) are all smoothly stirred into the broth with unnerving composure, leading to frequent crescendos of hilarity as the show careens in unplanned directions.

Early on, the familiar bingo format is upended by a frog invasion, and now we’re using our phones to try to match the frog to its call. When some of the audience knowingly report a false bingo, a lengthy trial ensues, probably the show’s most brilliant stretch, with individual punters taking remote control of the gavel, the stenographer and the slamming doors into the courtroom, while the rest of us take the role of the jury.

Then, suddenly, we’re flying over Pete’s hometown on the Isle of Man, playing bingo with famous Manx sites and helping Mr Bing reunite with his pet toad, all in the hope of winning a can of purest oxygen.

If this review feels like a catalogue of amazements rather than a traditional assessment, it’s because Foxdog Studios make you feel like a baby being tickled for an hour – an experience of pure unrestrained delight.

Review date: 12 Aug 2023
Reviewed by: Tim Harding
Reviewed at: Underbelly Cowgate

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