Last year in Edinburgh we caught the excellent one-man play Away From Home which tackled the subject of homophobia in sport, specifically football. This year, Paper Plane Theatre are offering something that sounds quite similar – Odd Shaped Balls, only this time it’s rugby. Here’s what the blurb says: “Odd Shaped Balls tells the story of James Hall, a promising rugby player whose life is turned upside down when he is outed as gay. With his life crumbling down around him, does James have the courage to not only be true to himself, but also be a role model to others? This moving and thought-provoking piece is a play for our time, full of wit, pathos and humour. It’s a story that needs to be told, a story that asks; how you would feel if your sexuality prevented you from playing the sport you love?”
Written by Richard Sheridan in response to his own experience when an openly gay rugby player joined his rugby club but was later rejected by the team captain; and also based on the real life story of Gareth Thomas, it sounds like a really interesting play and I’m hoping it’s going to pose lots of difficult questions and maybe suggest some answers. James Hall is played by 21 year old Matthew Marrs on his first visit to the Fringe. Paper Plane are a relatively new theatre company that aims to provide creative innovative and original theatre that explores interesting and relevant questions and themes, and support and work with emerging theatre makers to create a platform for their work to be seen. I wish them well on their quest, and I am sure this play will be ideal for their vision. It starts at 19:15 at the Space Triplex Studio, so please check back around 8.15 for our instant reactions, and to find out what we’re up to next.
That’s the way to play a one-man performance! Brilliant characterisations and voices, bags of attack and a really thought provoking play that managed to be funny as well as moving. Excellent job!