No results found

Waterperry web banner fxs4dz
What's On, Culture, Comedy, Theatre

Review: Awkward Conversations with Animals I’ve F*cked

More relatable than you might expect

divider
DB 20190404 0059 01718 2 Copy

What’s pleasing about Rob HayesAwkward Conversations is that the bestiality aspect doesn’t feel like merely a vehicle to explain loneliness and toxic masculinity – it has too much of a starring role – nor is it all there is to this one-hander. Bobby (Linus Karp) delivers five monologues. The first four take place following sexual encounters with animals, the final one just before he attempts sex with a bear. So, it’s pretty prevalent, but interspersed with anecdotes of his father’s disappointment in him.

Hayes stops things getting boring by varying the tone of the monologues. The opening – which can be referred to as ‘dog’ – is a familiar morning-after engagement in which Bobby tries to make small talk, worries about offending his four-legged companion, doesn’t want to appear clingy at the same time as not wishing them to leave. He is more flirtatious in ‘cat’ and rather confrontational in ‘monkey’. For me the most impressive segment is ‘goat’, where Bobby re-enacts at length the moment he walked out of his job as part of the monologue. Again, Hayes switches things up, taking us beyond the realms of his protagonist just talking to his sexual partner.

The father-son relationship is touched on regularly, most poignantly at the end when – fleeing the police – Bobby revisits the woodland he once camped in with his dad. He recalls how he wanted to catch fish for the pair of them to eat, be the provider of dinner for the night, but it doesn’t work out. Fitting an animal should feature in the tale. Karp goes on to emotionally (though with very good control) detail the breaking up of Bobby’s family; a split, remarriage, the births of half-siblings.

The actor portrays a Bobby you can’t help feeling for, and shows himself more than capable as a comic actor – perfectly executing lines like ‘I would install a cat-flap but I’m not a slut.’ His character is more relatable than you might expect. Yes, his sex is with animals. But the delusion that follows – plans of running away together, going into business together, the belief that one night of intercourse could mean a lifetime of happiness – is quite human.

Awkward Conversations with Animals I’ve F*cked is at Oxford’s Burton Taylor until 25 September.

Photography © Dave Bird

RECOMMENDED

STORNOWAY PRESS PHOTOCREDIT ALEX LAKE 001 p4sfoa
Mon 1 Jul 2024

Dr Brian Briggs – “Brian is fine” – divides his time between Llanelli’s Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust Wetland Centre, where he is senior reserve warden, and his ‘other

nik kershaw
Fri 31 May 2024

Nik Kershaw’s debut album Human Racing came out in 1984 and saw him dominating the singles chart with tracks including Wouldn’t It Be Good, I Won’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me and Dancing Girls. Swiftly followed by The Riddle, Nik spent 62 weeks in the charts and was one of the musicians to play Live Aid in July 1985.

Nell Mescal pwj9ug
Fri 31 May 2024

For the uninitiated, Nell Mescal (yes, sister of actor Paul) is an Irish singer-songwriter who hit the festival circuit hard last summer, playing (amongst others) The Great Escape, BST Hyde Park, Boardmasters and Live at Leeds. This year, she’s headed to Oxfordshire and Alex James’ Big Feastival for August bank holiday weekend. Eloise Lonsdale caught up with her to find out more about her musical style and her recently launched EP, Can I Miss it For a Minute.

Sea Girls Credit Blacksocks qoafap
Fri 31 May 2024

2024’s Truck line-up looks to be one of its best yet, balancing big names with emerging artists and beloved regulars. As an event, it has come to mark start of the summer holidays for its devoted attendees, but how about the acts? We caught up with Oli Khan, drummer in indie-rock band Sea Girls to get the bands-eye view.