Rob Hayes' Awkward Conversations with Animals I've F*cked centres around a series of post-coital encounters between Bobby, an isolated and lonely twenty-something and the various animal partners he's had.
It's a strange and interesting concept, which doesn't fully work. Although it is an interesting portrayal of a man disturbed by his childhood, who turns to non-human contact to try to feel love, the reasons behind his drastic choices are not fully explored.
Jack Holden is excellent as Bobby, a potent mix of awkward energy and desperation; surely one to watch for the future. Accompanied by a cacophony of squawks and howls, he writes his bestial partners on a blank canvas scene by scene, before a dramatic unveiling of his final destiny.
Edward Stambollouian's tight direction stops it from being toe-curlingly embarrassing, yet as Bobby makes an ultimate decision at the end of the play, I can't help but feel that, as the title suggests, it's all a bit awkward.
Awkward Conversations with Animals I've F*cked runs at Underbelly until 24 August