Linus Karp performs in Awkward Conversations with Animals I’ve F*cked, which comes to the King’s Head Theatre where it will push, prod and poke at the impermissible and the unmentionable. Following sell-out shows at Edinburgh Fringe, Awkward Productions present this critically-acclaimed, darkly comic production all about love, acceptance and boundaries.
Awkward Conversations with Animals I’ve F*cked is at The King’s Head Theatre 12th – 27th Aprile 2019.
You’re bringing Awkward Conversations With Animals I’ve F*cked to the King’s head, what can you tell us about it?
That you are in for quite the ride! Through some very awkward post-sex conversations with different animals, you get to know the desperately sad and lonely Bobby. He is determined to make things work with his four-legged friends; despite their lack of communication and the legal complications.
It’s very surreal and funny and Bobby’s character is very human and likeable. The story also becomes surprisingly moving while still being hilarious.
Where did Rob Hayes find the inspiration to write this?
Awkward Conversations is an excellent example of how Rob’s work touches on toxic masculinity, loneliness and quite dark themes while still being very creative and funny.
What has surprised you most about this play?
I’d probably say how emotional it is – I remember setting out thinking it’d be this really fun thing to do, which it is but it’s also such a heart-wrenching story and character. It’s funny to see how audiences react to this hilarious comedy, as seriousness seeps more and more into the story, until they’re emotionally invested in this character who could so easily be considered the villain.
What have you found most challenging about this boundary pushing performance?
The fact that it’s a solo performance obviously comes with a lot of challenges in itself. The play has a lot of gear changes and there’s no one else on stage to re-energise me or get me back on track should I need it.
I also think the subtext and nuances of the script are a challenge to get right. Often Bobby tries to make things seem alright and doesn’t say what he’s actually feeling yet a lot of his backstory is very cleverly hinted at – making sure I do the script justice is a challenge.
It played at Edinburgh Fringe, what was the audience reaction there?
It was great. It felt like it was a show that was talked about a lot – even by people who hadn’t seen it. I heard from friends that it was mentioned in stand-up sets that they’d seen! I guess with the title and themes it has, it’s not too surprising. Obviously there were some people who were outraged by the show – there was one woman in particular who kept posting on social media about how horrible it was and that she left straight away. I did suggest to her she might’ve enjoyed it had she stayed for a bit longer.
But I felt very privileged to be part of something that seemed to be memorable and resonated with people. There was so much laughter, some people moved to tears and of course some outrage. The show isn’t vanilla; it always creates a reaction.
What would you say to anyone thinking of coming to see Awkward Conversations With Animals I’ve F*cked?
Do it! When I first saw the title, I did think what is this? But it is unlike anything I’ve read before and it’s such a creative and clever story. Come with an open mind and be prepared to be both entertained and unsettled.
Image Courtesy of Simon J Webb