Foxdog Studios

★★★
comedy review | Read in About 2 minutes
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Foxdog Studios
Published 18 August 2016

Surely a unique mashup of comedy, music and computer geekery, Foxdog Studios is very much in the beta stage of development. But there's a cracking, late-night event building here. IT consultants by day, Lloyd Henning and Peter Sutton have contrived a bizarre blend of audience interaction and hit-and-miss spectacle, which, despite their electronic wizardry remains a little clunky, as several longueurs exceed the point of being entertaining for crap's sake.

The initial premise of the show is that we're all new employees of a metal recycling plant owned by Mr Boxhat (Sutton, in a wonderfully disturbing helmet of cardboard and cameras affording horrific closeups of his features), which he runs with his nephew (Henning). Establishing the core inventiveness of Foxdog's comedy, everyone in the crowd can use their smartphone to connect with, create avatars and contribute to the narrative as it unfolds on screen. Meaningless tosh about smuggling toffee cream liqueur into Leeds Festival notwithstanding, there's nevertheless a giddy thrill in realising that, in a small way, you're dictating the show whenever your avatar is centre stage. The technology works far better than the lo-fi shambles around it might lead you to believe.

Unfortunately, once that initial delight has settled, there's a lot of simply waiting for scenes to unfold at a snail's pace, and seeing your avatar pelt pointlessly around a mostly featureless canvas. Henning and Sutton retain an endearingly dry humour about this nonsense though and mix it up with some diverting musical interludes, suggesting that they're ones to watch for the future.