Awkward Conversations with Animals I’ve F**ked is quite a title for a theatre play. The play itself is written about Rob Hayes and tells the story of Bobby whom after a long time of feeling lonely and unloved finds comfort in becoming intimately involved with animals. As weird as this may sound, it is important to say this play is not just about bestiality. As the story evolves it tackles serious issues and you’ll find that Bobby is a surprisingly likable character.
“Despite it’s very funny and surreal set up, the play also brings up a lot of serious topics like mental health, toxic masculinity, daddy issues and our treatment of animals”
says actor Linus Karp who is playing Bobby for the fourth time in this upcoming tour of Awkward Conversations with Animals I’ve F**ked.
After the success of the first run in November 2017 it sold out to audiences at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2018. The artistic director of the King’s Head Theatre in London saw it and loved it. After performing a run at that famous venue in April 2019 theatres across the country became interested in hosting the play and the tour was born.
The show has had some amazing reviews and reactions which Linus is incredibly grateful for.
“I’ve received praise from Mark Gatiss and Edgar Wright – it feels so surreal that people like that have sat through watching me talking about sex with animals for an hour!”
As someone who has seen Linus perform I can tell you that any praise is well deserved. Any role that requires an awkward charm is perfect for him. Linus shines in roles that require a certain likable vulnerability to convey an important message through a character’s journey.
I did wonder, however, what it was that led a devoted vegetarian to star in a play that had bestiality as it’s story telling tool.
“I had found and loved the script and rather than waiting to be cast in roles I wanted to take my career in my own hands. I knew, or at least hoped, I was capable of more than just ‘generic Scandinavian background character”
A lot of the success of Awkward Conversations is the passion Linus puts into making the show. Ultimately he wants to share the story because it is entertaining whilst being slightly unsettling. It is a story you are very unlikely to have come across before.
“The show deals a lot with how it is to be an outsider. Thankfully, it never excuses or defends bestiality but the struggles Bobby faces are, at points, heartbreakingly relatable, especially as a queer person”
Awkward Conversations with Animals I’ve F**ked really is the must see theatre production to see this autumn.
You can catch Linus Karp in Rob Hayes’ Awkward Conversations with Animals I’ve F**ked on the following dates at these venues:
Oxford on 24-25 September @ Burton Taylor Studio
Bristol on 30 September – 1 October @ Alma Tavern and Theatre
Birmingham on 4-5 October @ Old Joint stock theatre
Newcastle on 8-12 October @ Alphabetti Theatre
Manchester on 15-16 October @ King’s Arms Theatre
Brighton on 25 October @ Marlborough Theatre
photography credits: Dave Bird