The one-man tragi-comedy Awkward Conversations with Animals I’ve F*cked arrives at London’s King’s Head Theatre on 12 April following a successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I spoke to star Linus Karp to find out more about the story behind this unusually titled play.
Can you tell me more about Awkward Conversations with Animals I’ve F*cked?
The clue is in the title – in the play you follow Bobby through his painfully awkward and one-sided conversations with the animals he’s just, well, fucked. It’s very funny and cleverly written, but there is also a lot of substance to it. Mental health, toxic masculinity and the treatment of animals are all subjects that are tackled in between the laughs.
What was it about the play that appealed to you?
I love dark comedy, and this play really has you laughing and cringing simultaneously. It takes a weird and different concept and then manages to create something very human and relatable. More than anything I fell in love with the character – he tries so hard to please and is so desperate for love. Despite doing bad things and ending up in horrible situations you can’t help but like him. It’s also great to find a part where my natural awkwardness becomes a strength and not a hindrance!
What do you find most challenging about the role?
Probably the fact that I’m alone on stage. It can be hard then to make sure I’m having an actual conversation rather than just a monologue. It is also an emotional story and it’s challenging to be as vulnerable as the character demands all on my own, but that’s something Bobby struggles with as well.
What has audience’s response been to the play so far?
We have been very fortunate and have had great responses from both audiences and critics. I think a lot of people are intrigued by the title and then probably come along for a laugh. Which they get, but there’s more to it. People don’t expect to be moved by a play about fucking animals, but it has so much heart and reliability that I think it’s almost impossible not to.
Can you sum up your character in three words?
Awkward, desperate and lonely.
What do you hope the audience takes away from the play?
First of all, I want them to have a good time by watching an engaging show that will surprise and entertain. Then I would love to make them think – if you’re open to it, I think the play questions a lot of our morals. What is wrong and what is right – and what makes us think so? Why are some things accepted and others not?
Awkward Conversations with Animals I’ve F*cked is playing at the King’s Head Theatre from 12-27 April 2019.