Review By Tatum Stafford
If there was one word to describe ‘Awkward Conversations With Animals I’ve F*cked’ - it’s awkward.
The premise is simple – a man named Bobby has the cringy ‘morning after’ chat with a range of stuffed animals, including a dog, cat and sheep. As their conversations continue throughout the play, it becomes evident that there is more at play than Bobby’s overuse of animal puns. Memories from his childhood, schooldays and even tales from the night before are discussed at length as Bobby tries harder and harder to relate to his sexual ‘partners’.
The Thursday night performance of this play in the intimate Deluxe tent didn’t quite capture the audience as the playwright intended. Though this play has had a string of successful runs throughout Europe and at the Edinburgh Festival, this Perth audience appeared more than a little uncomfortable by the play’s overt themes and implications.
The play is very provocative in nature, and in an era that prioritises conversations about sexual consent, respect and responsibility, it seems a strange choice to stage a show in the centre of semi-conservative Perth that uncomfortably and repeatedly references bestiality.
There’s no denying this play lends itself to a quirkily dark sense of humour. When Bobby tastes cat food, insinuates ‘doggy-style’ in attempts to get a rise out of his canine partner, or pays a monkey prostitute, there were a couple of sly smirks from the audience as we all looked around nervously at one another. The few that enjoyed it seemed to really enjoy it.
However, this is no criticism of the play’s sole actor, Darcy Whitsed. His admirable commitment to what could be perceived as a slightly perverse character was a highlight within the performance; with his earnest nature definitely saving a few riskier moments within the play’s dialogue.
All in all, this isn’t a show for your mum, and it also isn’t a show for people without an appreciation for dark humour. It seems there are a niche few that will truly enjoy this show, so proceed with caution if your idea of a Fringe show involves a few more laughs, sequins or singalongs.
All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.