A Shiny Life For Me!

a personal review blog by Bianca


20 April 2023
Park Theatre
4.0 out of 5.0 stars

Animal is a new play about a disabled man’s dating life. David, the central character, has cerebral palsy and relies on the help of friends and carers for some of the most basic daily tasks, like using the toilet or drinking and eating. He lives with friend and carer Jill, and is often visited by his best friend Derek. When he opens up to his friends about not being able to masturbate due to his disability, they suggest dating apps, and David takes his first reluctant swipes on Grindr.

Navigating a harsh and often shallow gay dating app, taking his frustrations out on his friends, and relentlessly quipping fiendishly in every situation, David opens up a new world of satisfaction and disappointment, fulfilment and devastation.

The play is witty, extremely funny despite its at times very dark subjects, and of course loaded with sexual energy. David, played by Christopher John-Slater, is a charming and frustrating character in equal measure. Drifting between being funny, caring, and extremely honest, he veers to abusive and entitled towards his friends at times. He is flawed, and that makes him real and compelling, commanding audience’s attention single-handedly.

A modern look at dating apps, living as a disabled person who relies on the care of others, and of course friendships and their boundaries, Animal is a hilarious and touching play with a lot of heart.

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