Awkward Conversations with Animals I've F*cked

Tue 3rd – Sat 7th February 2015

reviews

Emma Ansell

at 01:23 on 4th Feb 2015

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I didn’t know what to expect from ‘Awkward Conversations with Animals I’ve Fucked’, but I was absolutely delighted with this one man tragi-comedy. Without a dull moment, I was entranced from start to finish. The title of this show may be an accurate summary of the basis of the action but don’t let this put you off: Awkward Conversations is both cleverly written and impeccably performed. It is neither as gratuitous nor explicit as you may fear.

Chris Born, the star of this one man show, should be applauded for his incredible emotional range and captivating, animated facial expressions. He deployed punchline after punchline seemingly effortlessly and segwayed between awkward conversation topics flawlessly, as if naturally catching hold of a new train of thought. Chris Born’s Bobby, social outcast and active zoophile, was a thoroughly constructed character. I particularly loved his habit of twisting and fiddling with his tshirt, leaving the semi-naked character all the more vulnerable and awkward while pouring his heart out to his unresponsive mammalian sexual conquests.

The humour was largely reliant upon beastiality references (no surprises there) and so would clearly not be enjoyed by the very sensitive or faint of heart. I think that the title well and truly gives that away anyway. Approach at your own risk. That was a funny plot based joke but you’ll need to go and watch the show to understand.

Awkward Conversations is very funny and also very disgusting. Perhaps it is the mingling if the two that is so effective. This is a show that really knows how to get a reaction out of an audience. There is something very comfortable and very satisfying about being a part of a vocal audience – there were countless eruptions of laughter, groans of disgust and the occasional moan of sympathy. This is the kind of play that merits a response and this production more than does it the justice it deserves.

I will admit that I was not expecting moments of emotional depth, found encased in periodic tangents of personal backstory. Awkward Conversations is not just an exercise in squeamish humour – it gets dark, but gradually and with convincing sincerity. It was strange to feel real sympathy for a sexual deviant, although I should clarity that it is not his sexual deviancy that provokes these reactions but rather his loneliness and desperation.

Awkward Conversations with Animals I’ve Fucked is aggressively weird and weirdly emotional. At one point during the performance a friend excitedly patting my leg and whispered ‘I’ve said the same thing! Except not to a cat…’

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