Awkward Conversations With Animals I’ve F*cked

Edinburgh Festival Fringe Scotsman review (theatre): Awkward Conversations with Animals I’ve F*cked at Underbelly, Cowgate (Venue 61). Review by Sally Stott.

This is not the gross-out exploration of bestiality you might be expecting, although the audience is laughing like it is. Nor is it really about sex with animals, although that does feature, it’s about having romantic relationships with them. Rob Hayes refreshingly unusual script, gleefully performed by Jack Holden, uses the classic comic device of taking something mildly eccentric – in this case mankind’s love of all creatures great and small – and pushing it to its simultaneously logical and illogical conclusion: having them as partners. In a few generations time suggesting there’s anything wrong with this will just be prejudice, proposes a man called Bobby.

Behind the attention-grabbing title, what the show actually charts is a desire to be loved – a familiar tale made into something mind-bendingly outlandish by the fact Bobby seeks this from pets and wildlife. From a romantic evening with a dog, to a one-night stand with a cat, to a monkey prostitute who slumps about reading GQ magazine, gradually the power balance between man and beast shifts.
Humanised, the animals are just metaphors for the different kinds of people we might have relationships with. Sometimes they control us and sometimes we control them.

Until 24 August. Today 6:50pm, more info.

Originally published in The Scotsman

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