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Awkward Conversations with Animals I've F*cked (Edinburgh Fringe)

Jack Holden gives a wonderful performance in Rob Hayes' play

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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