Writer: Rob Hayes
Reviewer: Clare Howdon
Awkward Conversations with Animals I’ve F*cked makes for an interesting afternoon of theatre. Whilst the title itself clearly brings to light the bestiality elements of the production, what is even more ingenious about this piece is the structure in which Bobby’s penchant for animals is exposed. Written by Rob Hayes and performed as a series of monologues, we learn about protagonist Bobby (Linus Karp) through his affable post-coital conversations with his non-human conquests. Although one should feel rather disgusted with Bobby’s escapades, it is hard not to fall slowly in love with this endearing and articulate young man and Karp’s engaging delivery allows us enticing glimpses into the character’s fascinating back story.
Hayes’s has cleverly managed to insert a lot of plot progression into the isolated monologues and his razor-sharp dialogue is supported immeasurably by Karp’s faultless performance as Bobby, which is charmingly awkward and gentle. Karp ensures through his intelligent portrayal to make the most out of the funnier moments of the play but to also pay respect to the clear pathos that is throbbing under the surface.
Karp and Hayes must also both be commended on the play’s ability to keep audience members on their toes emotionally and it certainly cannot be accused of being predictable. The extreme subject matter also forces us to challenge our own innate prejudices and our tendency to pre-judge. Karp is most successful in his ability to get the audience on Bobby’s side from the outset and thus the collective heartbreak at his progressive desperation and eventual demise is even more poignant.
Runs until 26 August 2018 | Image: