PREVIEW – Playing it for laughs is a beast of a job in this taboo-busting dark comedy

Bestiality show at Edinburgh Fringe 2018
Pic by Dave Bird


GENERALLY speaking, bestiality is no laughing matter.

But the Edinburgh Fringe can always be relied on to tackle even the most taboo subjects – and to do so while unashamedly mining them for comedy effect.

Step forward brave Swede Linus Karp, the solo star of Awkward Conversations With Animals I’ve F***ed, billed as a one-man play about love, acceptance and awkwardness.

He plays Bobby, a man who is desperate for love and whose vulnerable male voice is crying out to be heard. At its heart, this is a play about loneliness, fathers and male fragility and which promises, “some hilariously awkward bestiality moments thrown in for good measure”.

Brought to Edinburgh by Awkward Productions theatre company, it is pitched as a “wonderfully twisted dark comedy”. That assertion is lent a certain credence thanks to having the apparent seal of approval from the master of dark comedy himself, Mark Gatiss.

Bestiality show at Edinburgh Fringe 2018
Pic by Simon J Webb

Gatiss, one of the masterminds behind TV’s The League of Gentlemen, is quoted as saying: “I was charmed by this funny and unsettling play and the febrile performance of Linus Karp … he brings a strange pathos to Rob Hayes’ taboo-bending script.” 

This performance will be the Edinburgh Fringe debut for Awkward Productions, after a successful run in London. The company is dedicated to exploring stories that fall outside of the norm but which, in the end, they believe everyone can relate to.

The Edinburgh run is directed by Katharine Armitage, a comedy and drama creator who is Artistic Director of Tea Break Theatre . Back in the producing chair is Joseph Paterson who currently works in press and production at the BBC and trained at East 15.