Melbourne Fringe: Awkward Conversations with Animals I’ve Fucked

Awkward Conversations with Animals I’ve Fucked sums up the work in its entirety.

Awkward Conversations with Animals I’ve Fucked

The work presents various scenes with different animals, in which Bobby (Heath Ivey-Law) holds awkward post-coital conversions. Naturally, the conversations reveal more about the protagonist than anything else and the audience watch as Bobby descends into a spiral of insanity. Lonely, jobless and perused by the police, Bobby eventually ends up in an abandoned building with a bear.

Written by UK playwright Rob Hays, the premise of the show sounds hilarious, edgy and innovative. Something which truly examines the relationship between humans, intimacy, sex and sexual object. However, the show falls flat in its exploration of humanity and our relationship with animals and the humour that many expected simply was not there. This rendered the performance slow, with multiple uncomfortable pauses. These silences were not due to the physical or emotional discomfort of the spectator, but rather the tone of the work, that sat awkwardly between satire, melodrama and tragic commentary (maybe that was the point?).

Despite the problems that predominantly emanate from the writing itself, Ivey-Law presents a strong performance as the human-deprived Bobby. While the sound and lighting is innovative and effective in the small fringe venue, sadly, it ultimately falls flat as the comedy within the piece (ultimately, one of its selling points) is difficult to gauge.

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