When Linus Karp tells me the name of his one-man show, I immediately think I’ve misheard. Asking the actor again, it turns out I heard correctly and it is in fact called Awkward Conversations With Animals I’ve Fucked. “I found the script in a bookshop a few years ago just while scrolling through scripts. The title obviously stands out, so I had to pick it up!” He laughs, “I read it over and over — I had to read it a few times — and it’s so amazing. It’s so well written. It’s everything I love because it’s really funny but also really dark and sad and awkward, and I felt like the character was my perfect fit!”
Written by Rob Hayes, the story follows lead character Bobby after a string of one-night stands with various animals. “I guess you sort of follow him through his breakdown,” Karp explains. “It’s not a very happy story, but it’s very funny. He turns to animals and every scene is with a different animal and they’re all post-sex conversations.” Karp laughs again. “Obviously it’s a horrible thing to do! But he’s portrayed as such a likeable and human character still and the way he’s talking to the animals is so human. The first scene is his first time so you have all of these awkward first sexual experience moments and then it develops from there, so it’s the things you see in human relationships… Then it gets more fun and quite dark. It starts off as a really funny story and people laugh along because it’s so silly but then it gets quite real. It’s been so interesting.”
Taking his first acting role at age six, Karp is an old hat at show business, but Bobby has been the Swedish actor’s favourite role so far, if a little nerve- wracking heading out in front of a crowd solo. “I’m always very self-critical and when you’re on stage with another actor it’s easier because you can focus on them — you get their energy — whereas now I have to bring all the energy myself,” he explains. “Even the tiniest thing, like the audience moving about a bit, you’re like, ‘Oh my god, shit!’ Those thoughts come a lot, but also it’s really nice to do something with no one else.”
Hoping to take the show to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year, he’s already got the audiences on his side. “We had such a good team involved and we’ve had really good reviews. Mark Gatiss came to see the show!” He says excitedly, “That was so surreal. After the show I was like, ‘I can’t believe Mark Gatiss just sat here listening to me talk about fucking animals for over an hour!’” Perhaps a role in Gatiss’ Sherlock might not be not too far away…
Now, the production is now going on a UK tour, find out more here.