Before the play has even started, we are being put in the mood with horny pop classics such as “I touch myself” and “Relax “. The simple but effective set glows in UV light with images of Aubergine emojis and the atmosphere feels like the sell-out crowd are ready for this show.
And what a show! The direction and writing are beautiful directed by Bronagh Lagan, written by Jon Bradfield, and based on Josh Hepple’s story. It is a rollercoaster of a play moving one moment and laugh out loud the next. A story about one man’s sexual journey, through hook-up culture, friends, carers and navigating relationships whilst examining social barriers for disabled people.
All of the cast are superb, with some playing multiple roles, they are energetic, but real and lines delivered with impeccable timing. The complexity of the characters is a credit to the actors and writing particularly David, played by Christopher John-Slater, who through his journey can be likeable and unlikable all at the same time. You can sense his frustration with the world, dependence and sometimes himself.
It’s a play with a plenty of spunk! But the title animal feels wrong as I don’t think I have seen a show with as much humanity for some time … one not to be missed.
Written by JACQUI HAM
ANIMAL (age recommendation 16+) is at Tobacco Factory Theatres on April 12-15 at 7.30pm. Tickets are available at www.tobaccofactorytheatres.com.
All photos: Courtesy of Tobacco Factory Theatres