Review: Foxdog Studios – Robot Chef

IT geeks get busy in the kitchen

★★★
comedy review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
31947 large
Foxdog Studios
Published 08 Aug 2018

Carving their own niche in interactive tech-enabled comedy, Foxdog Studios are back with another hour of knockabout geekery that's a whole lot of fun. Celebrating the completion of a successful web build, only nepotism saving them from woefully exceeding the deadline, IT consultants Lloyd Henning and Pete Sutton have decided to throw a party, with music, dancing and food.

The final element is the most important in Robot Chef, as the pair have contrived a jerry-rigged mini-kitchen in their basement nightclub venue. And they're very much cooking with gas. Controllable through smartphones, everyone in the crowd gets an avatar projected onto a screen broadcasting the action, via which, if randomly chosen, they get to contribute to the making of a rudimentary meal. The kitchen itself is a deceptively elaborate setup of magnets, motors, virtual on-screen buttons and a couple of elements straight out of the mad scientist textbook, with the deadpan Henning and Sutton occasionally interjecting to explain the awkward purchase of a prop to create their dubious enterprise.

Inbetween the main action there's music, a little bit of inexplicable character comedy and some party-based competitive computer games everyone gets a go at. Surprisingly addictive, Foxdog have all but eliminated the occasional faffing and fiddling between set-pieces that compromised their last Fringe hour, for about as slick but still perilous an operation as they could hope to manage under the circumstances. The responsibility for things going (entertainingly) wrong has almost entirely been successfully, messily passed to the audience.