Odd Shaped Balls
  • By Isla VT
  • |
  • 6th Aug 2014
  • |
  • ★★★★

This one-man-show chronicling a young rugby star’s struggle with sexuality, love, and being ‘outed’ against his will is sincere, powerful, and entertaining. James Hall (Chris Sheridan) weaves his tale of life on the pitch, in the locker room, pub, and at home; outlining his marriage, career, and extramarital affair with a man. Chris Sheridan plays all the roles in the story with conviction. Although the show would benefit from greater distinction between some of the roles, Sheridan plays them all with ease; changing accents, physicality, and even gender at various points in the show. The script is great, avoiding clichés and overdone emotion for the most part while crafting a beautiful, relatable story of a man’s struggle with self and sexuality in limelight of professional sports.

This is an exquisitely human story, brought to light with great talent by Richard D. Sheridan’s writing and Chris Sheridan’s performance.

However, don’t be put off by the context--you don’t need to be a sports fan to enjoy this show. In fact, one does not even have to know anything about rugby at all. This is an exquisitely human story, brought to light with great talent by Richard D. Sheridan’s writing and Chris Sheridan’s performance. It is, without a doubt, accessible to everyone.

The set was simple but extremely effective, further enabling Sheridan to move us seamlessly and credibly through the spaces of James Hall’s world. The lighting, especially the stadium light effect, was also commendable. Richard D. Sheridan has crafted an endearing, raw character in James Hall. His story is funny, touching and charming in equal measure. Chris’ engagement with the audience and fully consummate presentation of the roles made this a captivating and compelling performance to watch. This striking and winning production is definitely worth a watch.

Reviews by Isla VT

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★★★★
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Greenside @ Nicolson Square

Unprescribed

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Gryphon@WestEnd

Odd Shaped Balls

★★★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

A moving, honest and comical one-man show exploring issues of homophobia in sport through the experiences of a young professional rugby player, James Hall, as he deals with the media attention after being publicly outed by his ex. A versatile and dynamic performance sees a range of characters brought to life, from Jim's supportive coach, Aidan, to his outspoken teammate, Jonesy, the main source of changing-room banter. Drawing on recent events, the show looks at how the culture of male sports, and pressure from fans and the press, can intimidate sports stars to live a lie.