- This page is about the musical. For the computer game, see Yiff! (video game).
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Yiff! was the name of a forthcoming piece of musical theater, now called <furReality>, themed around the furry fandom, created by composer/lyricist Tim Saward, co-lyricist Darren Wayte (in the UK) with consultancy from Vahn Fox (in the US). It is featured on a website at yiff.org.uk, was first performed in an abridged showcase concert-version in September 2007, and again (in a slightly longer version) on 28 January and 3 February at the King's Head Theatre, Islington, London, and a full production, to take place in London in Summer 2010 is now under discussion with production company The Scenic Route, which has occasioned the change of title.
Videos of the first and second readings (depicting the first two-thirds of the show) have now been posted to YouTube.
Polls on its website originally determined the basic plotline and sexuality of the main character as well as the musical style. Saward, who at the project's inception, was studying on a musical theater course, worked with artist/animator Kyle Evans (in Australia) to create animations for the show, to be mixed with live action, showing typing in chatrooms and the actions of online fursonae.
Yiff! is distinct from Furry Tales, another musical theater piece about the furry fandom, by American authors.
- Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.
So far, Saward has released the following plot details on his blog. Some details have also been drawn from videos posted on YouTube.
- The story is about Russ, a young English guy of 19, who is a fur. His mother worries about his apparent internet addiction, but he can't tell her what it's all about; she'd never understand.
- Russ goes online and starts to mix with the furry community, in particular with a mentor figure from the States called AzurePhoenix, under whose tutelage he establishes his own fursona, RedFox, and first hears of the concept of yiff - which in his mind becomes a holy grail - the thing that he wants most. He also starts an online romance with JadeVixen, the fursona of a girl in the States, but his mother is worried about the wolves of the world, and fears that Russ is too innocent and inexperienced not to be harmed.
- Russ and Jade continue to roleplay and yiff online and Russ quickly starts falling in love with her. After Primrose realises that Russ's sexuality is all bound up with his furriness, she takes action to make sure he can't express his furry side again by cutting off his internet connection.
- Driven by his mother's actions, Russ steals her credit card and flies to the United States to attend FurCon - a generic furry convention parodying Anthrocon. Here he spends days in the presence of other furs, loving every moment of it. He meets Gr1z, who makes Russ a conbadge to wear.
- Later on into the convention Russ learns that JadeVixen is present at the convention and goes to hunt her down; eventually finding her in fursuit, they begin a duet together, ending with him removing her fursuit head only to find that JadeVixen is actually a gay man who is already in a relationship with someone else attending the convention.
- Downhearted, Russ decides to leave the convention, only finding out that his mother's credit card has been blocked when he tries to pay. His mother contacts him telling how she's paid for a plane ticket home and that a taxi is waiting for him. Unable to return to his furry-devoid life back home, Gr1z offers to pay for his convention and invites Russ to live with him. He accepts, and goes on to live his new furry life.
Other sections are planned to follow this plot, which will deal with the Russ/Gr1z relationship, as it enters darker territory.
The following characters have been listed as part of the show:
- Russ is a 19-year-old fur from somewhere in England. He's wanted to be a fox since his childhood, and thinks he can realize it somehow some day. He's naive, but charming.
- RedFox is everything that Russ wants to be, and who he can be online. He's a dashing, handsome fox who can move at speed and hunt with tremendous cunning. He also knows how to seduce.
- Primrose Bacon
- Russ' mum is worried about her boy spending all his time on the internet in the company of people who seem weird. She worries about predators and wants to protect Russ because she's not sure he's ready for the world. She's a member of the Army of the Light - a conservative Christian group.
- Gr1z is a more experienced fur than Russ, aged 26, from the States. He's tried to realise his furry dreams, but life hasn't yet let that happen. He's a graphic designer by profession, originally named Griff, but he changed it in his script kiddie days.
- His fursona is a wise old bird of the furry community, more than once burned by it. Azure stands apart from other furs these days, but has useful words of advice, and occasional words of cynicism for newbies.
- Eric, a Geography student at De Montfort, got into furry a little before Russ/RedFox, also comes from the UK, and he's there to advise Russ and help him induct a little into the real life furry community.
- His fursona is an American yellow ferret with the power of invisibility, whom he roleplays in detailed RPGs based on the universe of a TV show.
- She wanted to be a librarian, but ended up having kids. She looks out for Russ/RedFox as he makes his journey into the darker, riskier parts of the furry world.
- Her fursona, a cat called Malvina, is a smart, glamorous librarian.
- Jade is like Russ - young, romantic and naive. She loves playing in character online. As a character, JadeVixen is a royal vixen in a future world. Confident and assured, she knows how to prowl, how to hunt and how to seduce. Yet holds a certain secret...
- Vernon sits at his computer through the day and late into the night, being someone he isn't. He leaves his computer to go to conventions.
- CanusWolf is hidden. He's the wolf on the path to grandmother's house; the hunter, the loner and the outsider. Beware.
The first performance of Yiff! was a workshop performance running 40-50 minutes (made up of excerpts from the show, which is expected to run 90 or so minutes in total once complete). This was at Goldsmiths College, London, on 27 and 29 September 2007. It was followed on 28 January and 3 February 2008 by a semi-staged reading of the showcase version, at the King's Head Theatre, Islington, London.
Future performances are in the early stages of planning.