Foil Arms & Hog – Swines show review

For those that do not know who they are, Foil Arms and Hog are an Irish comedy group over 10 years old who have performed at popular festivals such as The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The Vodaphone Comedy festival and many more. They have appeared on many Irish TV programs too.

The group is made up of 3 members, Foil is Seán Finegan, Arms is Conor McKenna and Hog is Seán Flanagan.


Often a comedian can get old. Their jokes don’t change and they regularly rely on sexism, racism and crude comments. Foil Arms and Hog rely on none of that. They are constantly improving themselves and feed off of each other.

If you are interested in learning about the meaning behind the peculiar name, here is a link talking about it further.

Taken from Facebook

Swines Show in Cardiff

The show me and my friend attended was their 2nd to last showing of the tour in Cardiff. This show had had 3 dates in total because of COVID. When it was finally able to ahead, the date was 6.5.22. Over 2 years later than planned. Who knows what happened in those 2 years to those ticket holders!

Their last 2 showings of Swines are on the 27th and 28th May in Dublin, Ireland. The show on the 28th is in aid of Ukraine.

(A few spoilers ahead for those who haven’t yet seen it!)

Empty seats

A massive part of their show is interaction with the audience. It does not matter where you are sat, even if you do not give them eye contact, there is still a very big chance they will grab you to join in.

Well FAH used empty seats in the hall to their advantage too!

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Hog made a joke that there were so many empty seats and insinuated that possibly something morbid had occured. Everybody laughed but then Foil & Arms motioned for those who wanted to move to “better” seats could do so. They meant that those sat at the back could move closer to the main stage, as there were plenty of seats available.

There was a lady called Marian who was sat with her friend in the 2nd row and they moved to the front row!! Foil pointed it out and everyone in the hall had a great laugh and joke about it. Marian wasn’t to know she was going to be the butt of so many jokes!!

Hog started to walk through the audience and stole some handbags. He even got the crowd to rate 2 handbags, putting them against each other!

Age appropriate

To attend these shows, you have to be 14+. Even then, you still need a parent or guardian over the age of 18 to attend. There was a small family of 3 sat on the left hand side of the hall and Foil spotted the youngest member of this family. He walked up to them and said hello. Asked how old she was and she said 10. He said, more to her parens, that the show is 14+ for a reason. Foil then said: “So I am going to ask you again ___, how old are you?” There was a small pause of silence before the young girl replied confidently that she was 15. The hall erupted into laughter and Hog exclaimed that she had added a year for good measure.

Marian and Sylvia

FAH like their audience to sing their theme-tune to bring them on stage. But Foil said he wasn’t going to be on stage to play conductor.

At this point, Hog and Arms are walking amongst the audience.

They picked out Marian. She kept saying no and no again. Even when pleaded with! Foil pretended to have a bit of a tantrum with Marian, almost childlike which got him rather a few laughs. She still wouldn’t do it. So they moved on after giving up with Marian.

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Sylvia was sat in the middle tier and on the aisle. Foil sat on the steps and gently asked her to be the conductor. She, like Marian refused but when given lots of encouragement decided to go for it.

This was all before the show had begun! These lads had effortlessly warmed their audience up in less than 15 minutes. It takes skill to cause over 400 people to split their sides in that time.

Stage and audience presence

To talk about everything in the show would take far too long. They packed so much into what felt like 5 minutes.

Their stage presence and audience presence is phenomenal. Some comedians are too afraid to interact with their viewers. These 3 LOVE it!!! They not only involve us from our seats, but they bring us on stage with them.

Musical Men (Picture taken by me)

In the Swines show, there is a part where Hog plays a character that is 40 years plus and has run off from his parents to get married. Hog legs it into the audience and grabs Sylvia, mentioned earlier. She was very adamant she wasn’t moving so Hog let her be and grabbed a different older lady from the front row.

“You’ll do”, Hog said while the audience laughed and he ran off with this poor lady.

Later on, she appeared at the end of the show as part of the hen party!

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Just a little personal note, I have watched Foil Arms and Hog for over 3 years. They never fail to make me laugh and they are just genuinely funny and lovely people.

If you would like to learn more about them, follow the links down below. Have you been to one of their shows? Which of their videos do you like on YouTube?

Check them out on the links below!

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Radio Silence

First of all, I would like to apologise. No new content since the start of the month. Now I know that is only 20 days but to me it feels like so much longer! Let me update you as to what has prevented me from writing…

New job…

So after quite a few weeks of searching for a new job and applying for jobs all over the place, I got an interview for a job that I had really wanted! When I was accepted, I then left my job in Warrington and started new job in Southport. The team have been really welcoming and even though the pace of work is much faster, I am really enjoying it. I have now worked here nearly a month and I still feel the welcoming spirit from my new colleagues.

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COVID

So unfortunately my family has been hit by the dreaded COVID and rather recently too. My Nan had it and had to isolate for nearly 2 weeks! She came to visit us once she had had 2 negatives lateral flow tests and then coincidently my mother tested negative a few days later.

That same week my mum tested positive, I was supposed to be going to the beautiful Scottish city of Edinburgh with my lovely friend Lidiya. Lots of content opportunity! However, with my mum still showing COVID symptoms we decided it was best that we postpone the holiday for a later day when both family’s were free of the virus.

Unfortunately, my mum is still quite poorly with it but I am hoping she is over the worst of it now. Day 8 and counting…

Cardiff!

So, this is like a bad news sandwich! Good news, bad news and good news again! This time, the good news is that I am due on holiday next week in the Welsh city of Cardiff with my wonderful bestie Isabella. We plan to spend a few days there and have even planned a day trip to Bristol! I have been to Bristol before but Isabella hasn’t so we are so excited. Expect a blog post or three about this particular holiday! I cannot wait to share what we get up to!

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As ever, I love seeing the support my little snippets from my adventures receive and am ever grateful for the feedback! Thank you for making me smile xx

Have you ever been to Cardiff or Bristol? If so, is there anywhere you recommend to visit?

The Maglocunus & Vortipor Stones – Nevern, Wales, UK

Nevern is a small village in the valley of Nevern, east of Newport in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

During August this year we stayed in Nevern with some friends on their plot of land. We stayed for 2 weeks, we had so much fun in on the beach, visting waterfalls, (see the 2 links below)

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But this time, I want to discuss some history of Nevern, and that starts with its church:

Nevern’s Church – St Brynach Church

This church is named after St Brynach of Pembrokeshire, who founded this place of worship here in the 5th century.

The Church (Source)

Inside the church, lays one of the finest Celtic language examples in Britain, dating to the 1st century AD:

The Maglocunus Stone

This is an ancient stone featuring Celtic Ogham script. What is Ogham? Well it is sometimes known as the ‘Celtic tree alphabet’. Monumental Ireland on the post lined to this picture, they say:

“It was designed to write ‘Old Irish’ and can be seen on stone monuments throughout the Country (Ireland), particularly in counties Cork & Kerry. (…) Some scholars believe it dates back to the 1st Century AD – as the language used shows pre-4th Century elements such as the letters q and z which do not appear in Modern Irish.

While all surviving Ogham inscriptions are on stone, it was probably more commonly inscribed on sticks, stakes and trees.

The origins of Ogham are uncertain: according to Irish mythology, it was invented by Ogma, the Irish god of speech, language, eloquence and learning. (…) .

Monumental Ireland.
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(Source: Monumental Ireland)

The ancient stone is embedded into the window sill of the south wall of the nave of St Brynach Church.

What is quite interesting is that normally, Inscriptions are mostly peoples’ names and were used to mark ownership, territories and graves. This stone in particular we are talking about is on stone and was originally vertical. It was only turned horizontal so it could be set into the window.

What does it say?

It is inscribed in Latin “MAGLOCUNI FILI CLUTORI” and in Ogham “maglicunas maqi clutari“, translated as (the stone) of Maglicu, son of Clutarias.

Who are these people? I will be writing another post on this as it gets very interesting. Keep a lookout!

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In my research, I kept getting directed back to this book: KING ARTHUR: MAN OR MYTH, written by Tony Sullivan. It is “an investigation of the evidence for King Arthur based on the earliest written sources rather than later myths and legends.”

In this book, Tony writes about the stone in connection to Gildas and then Vortipor, the King of Demetia or modern day Dyfed/Southern Wales who lived approximately AD475-540.

Funnily enough, in Carmarthen, this is a stone dedicated to this king and on this stone are 2 inscriptions, almost identical to the Maglocunnus Stone, in that there is are Latin and Ogham inscriptions.

But why Latin & Ogham? The Romans brought Irish mercenaries across in the late 4th Century for protection from attacks by other Hibernians, (native of Ireland).

After the Romans left, the Irish Deisi (or Déssi) tribe of the County Waterford area ruled the region, hence the Ogham inscription as well as Latin. 

Territory Marker

Remember how I said that these stones were used as markers for territory? Well when this Vortipor Stone was found, it was originally one of a pair of boundary markers for an old track replaced by a new roman road. The Stone was moved and then stood near as stile on the southside of Castell Dwran Churchyard until 1879. There was a meadow next to where it stood and this meadow had evidence of hut-circles. This stone was only 200 meters off the line of the roman road, being used as a marker.

This may have been a continuation of roman customs such as the roadside burial, but also a tradition hinting to the Ogham origins for the inscriptions to be used as a marker for territories. Funny how things go full circle isn’t it?

Sadly, the assumption that the inscriptions on the stone, Voteporigis in the Latin and Votegorigas in ogham, refer to Vortipor, is refuted by modern linguistic analysis, which notes that the missing ‘r’ that is in the name ‘Vortipor’ and not in either of ‘Voteporigis’/’Votegorigas’ is significant, and so the stone must be dedicated to a different person.

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As you can see, I love history and language. I love the way both are intertwined and have an influence on each other. This is only part 1 of this mini series and next time I will be talking about who those 2 people are that were inscribed on the 1st stone I mentioned.

Did you enjoy reading? Please comment if you did!

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