Surprising for all the right reasons

By Myron My

I will admit, the title of Awkward Conversations With Animals I’ve Fucked was what drew my eye to this show, but this piece is so much more than just a show with a catchy and controversial title.

Written by award winning UK playwright Rob Hayes, we meet Bobby (Heath Ivey-Law) having various one-way conversations with five different sexual conquests, who all happen to be animals. Beginning with man’s best friend (of course), the monologues Ivey-Law delivers look at the fear and desires we have when faced with the notion of being alone or giving yourself over to someone, and also how far we can go or should go in being happy.

Awkward Conversations

James Dalton is skillful as director and despite the confines of the stage and set, manages to keep us entertained by the “action” with some carefully selected props. The way the animals are portrayed on stage is simple but clever and provides Ivey-Law something more to interact with whilst on stage.

Of course, much of the success for a one-man show ultimately rests on the shoulders of the actor. Can they pull this performance off? Can they get the audience to believe the words they are saying? Can they entertain us? Fortunately Ivey-Law is able to do all this and more. His execution of an awkward and unsure yet determined and strong Bobby in this wordy and barrier-pushing script is masterful and manages to create the right blend of comedy and tragedy.

When you take away the animal aspect, Awkward Conversations With Animals I’ve Fucked is ultimately a show about wanting to connect with someone and how far we are willing to go and what we are willing to do to get there. Even though we’re only a few days into the Fringe Festival, I do feel that this is a show that people will continue to talk about after Fringe is over.

Venue: Upstairs at Errol’s, 69-71 Errol St, North Melbourne

Season: Until 26 September | Tues-Fri 10:30pm

Tickets: $25 Full | $19 Conc