Like Animals

Through a series of slightly disjointed comic scenes, two actors, Pete and Kim, tell the story of three different relationships.

The concept is interesting and the actors are good - although the overall show could be more polished

The first one is between Alex, a famous grey parrot, and Irene Pepperberg, the animal psychologist who trained him to speak. The second is between Peter, a dolphin, and Margaret Howe Lovatt, a NASA-funded scientist who is trying to train him to speak, this time in the hope of learning how to communicate with extra-terrestrials. The experiment caused a sensation in its day because of the sexual relationship which Margaret is alleged to have had with Peter. The third relationship is Pete and Kim’s own. The concept is interesting and the actors are good, although the overall show could be more polished in its execution.

These are interesting and original subjects. It’s unusual to see theatre made about human-animal communication and the duo deserve credit for this innovation – as well as for bringing these fascinating true stories to life. It’s also well-acted as the pair deliver an endearing high-energy performance mingling dialogue, movement and fourth-wall-breaking narration which is very entertaining. There’s also great chemistry between the two of them.

However, the story doesn’t really go anywhere. There are some scenes which, individually, are lovely but they don’t necessarily seem to fit together beyond the fact that many of them concern training animals to talk. There are some common themes that run through the three tales, such as communication barriers and uncertain futures, but these are nebulous and the message is unclear. Are the human-animal relationships allegorical for their own one? As the show goes on, the pace drops, the novelty of the premise wears off and the show starts to feel more repetitive.

The set and costume are low and colourful, and they lend the production the feel of a cheap and cheerful sketch-show. A dolphin onesie, a parrot costume, some snorkelling gear, a paddling pool, a stool to perch on, some multi-coloured feathers, and a glittery tinsel curtain all grace the stage at various points.

This production has a strong cast and the bones of a good show. It just needs a little more work on to drawing out its themes and reducing repetitions, for its imaginative content to really shine.

Reviews by Nuri Syed Corser

Summerhall

Green & Blue

★★★
Greenside @ Infirmary Street

Play Before Birth

★★★
ZOO Playground

Landscape (1989)

★★
Summerhall

Who Cares

★★★★
Summerhall

Like Animals

★★
CanadaHub @ King's Hall in association with Summerhall

Sea Sick

★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

A parrot says 'I love you'. A dolphin tries to speak. A woman spends a lifetime trying to understand. Like Animals is a funny and poignant investigation into love and communication in human (and not-so-human) relationships. Inspired by true stories of animal language experiments and performed by a real couple, it blends surreal comedy with moments of tenderness and vulnerability to explore the impossibility of ever truly knowing someone else.

Most Popular See More

Hairspray

From £22.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Witness for the Prosecution

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £31.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £13.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Life of Pi

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets