In Praise of Rob Hayes

Like all ‘artists’, ROB HAYES is deep down a preening narcissist. So he’s taken it upon himself  to collect – apropos nothing – a selection of positive things journalists have said about him.



Awkward Conversations with Animals I’ve F*cked is f*cking great. My jaw didn’t drop; it fell through the floor, made its way past the earth’s crust and came out the other end. The beauty of awkwardness is that it can slip from hilarity to heartache and then back again faster than you can say ‘heavy petting.’ Awkward Conversations does exactly that but with such subtlety and such grace that it’s often impossible to know what to feel at any one moment. The balance resembles a ballerina on a razor’s edge: utterly stunning.

The new script by Rob Hayes is not so much touched by genius as making outright love with genius. The jokes never feel forced but arise naturally from the drama, which is incredible considering the immense quantity and quality of them. More impressive still is that beneath these jokes there throbs a vein of melancholy always threatening to break the surface. When it finally does the effect is magnificent. Awkward Conversations reveals itself to be a poignant tale about a human humanity forgot.

– Broadway Baby

Very, very funny…keeps you giggling throughout; whether it’s with disgust, the absurdity of it all or just the sheer intelligence of a well-delivered one-liner…Awkward Conversations… certainly won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, there’s no doubt about that. But there’s absolutely no danger of being blindsided by its content, either: You go into it expecting a bizarrely funny play about bestiality and that’s exactly what you get.

– Entertainmentwise

Hayes’ darkly funny script masks a disturbing psychological examination of mental illness and loneliness. This play is much more subtle and interesting than the brashness of its title. – The Stage

The rapier wit of up and coming wunderkid Rob Hayes is no less evident here than in his earlier work… a brilliant piece of theatre. Superb. – The Good Review

Hayes’ ballsy, original play has a depth and poignancy that endures long after you’ve stopped LOLing at the name – Time Out

Hayes is a ballsy writer: he has found one of the few taboo subjects left and launched it at his audience with zero apology…Inarguably an utterly original piece of theatre. – The Public Reviews

Certainly one of the most shocking and eye opening pieces of theatre to be staged at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe – West End Frame

And just for a bit of critical balance:

“Any cunt that found @awkwardtheplay funny is a cunt” – @adamgmayer

STEP 9 (OF 12)

This is, quite genuinely, fringe theatre at its absolute best – What’s On Stage

Rob Hayes is no ordinary writer…he has a rare talent for creating frighteningly powerful characters who remain spine-tinglingly tangible, despite their extraordinary actions – Time Out Critic’s Choice

Hayes is a rare new playwriting talent – Exeunt

A stunning piece of writing…an extraordinary talent – Jeremy Kingston, The Times


A beautifully layered, twisted and complex comedy…incredibly watchable…a brilliantly executed comedy from a dark, dark mind. – The Good Review

Brought back distant memories of Pinter’s The Dumb Waiter. But this isn’t Pinter derivative, it’s a fresh voice…Powerful and pertinent, this is like a modern reworking of ancient Greek Drama – British Theatre Guide

Hayes knows how to manipulate tension…there is an original imagination at work in this piece of contemporary gothic – The Guardian

Fiercely funny…finely crafted comic dialogue and strikingly surreal moments – Time Out