Comedy Review: Mark Allen's Pet Project
As previously reported, Mark Allen's stand-up show concerning the human relationship of animals (including furries) is to end in a gig in May.
Luckily for me, I have had some correspondence with Mark after I spread the news of the show on The Furtean Times and other websites. He then mentioned that as far as he was aware, no furry has seen the show. Therefore, he gave me a copy of the show he recorded in London last October for me to review, from a furry perspective. So, here it is.
The show begins with Mark getting a cat and becoming fascinated about the relationship between humans and animals, in particular the humanisation of animals. In his research, he came across furries and joined a forum. However, as he did not have a fursona, and his knowledge of anthropomorphic animals stops at Thundercats, the name he registered under was "Snarf".
He eventually learned more about them, including the trouble of coming out, as expressed in the line, "Mum, dad, I'm an otter!" As I have discussed in a previous article, the issue of coming out is a tricky one and it is nice to see the difficulties of coming out as a furry covered.
Mark eventually learned of a furry convention in London. For the convention he got a fursuit from a company in Stockport for free. Mark eventually formed a fursona, which was a Dalmatian wearing one of his father's suits. When he went to the convention/furmeet, along with his girlfriend, several things happened to Mark. For starters, he discovered that his fursona was more than him at a party and he took part in a Fursuit Olympics, although there was only one event – musical chairs, which his girlfriend filmed.
There was also one disturbing thing. His girlfriend saw a hedgehog wanking off an owl. It should be pointed out that before this, Mark pointed out that fursuit sex was a rare thing (many thanks to Slycat for pointing that out -- ed.) and it is looked down upon by the rest of the fandom. Some furries may say that Mark should not have gone into this as it damages the fandom, but I think it is perfectly legitimate. The sexual side of the fandom is something that should not be swept under the carpet, or indeed a fur rug.
In the plain context of the show’s furriness, it was good. He was not at any point attacking the fandom except when they were doing things which were clearly wrong (see above paragraph). However, I did feel that the show did circle itself around the fursuiting aspect too much. Yes, it is a part, as is conventions, but it is not the only part. Many furries do not have a fursuit (I only have a tail) and there are many who express their furriness in other ways, whether it be writing, drawing or music.
The rest of the show is good to. Highlights for me including a photoshopped goat on an Oxfam advert, the news that one donkey sanctuary gets twice as much money per year as Age Concern, and how a dog managed to get to the final of Britain's Got Talent.
Overall, it is a good, entertaining show, which is sympathetic towards furries. Whether or not it will be available on mass via DVD is something which is not yet known. I hope it does.