WORTH A LOOK?: *****
WHERE: Old Red Lion Theatre
WHEN: 19/6 (matinee) runs to 25/6
Last year we saw former Labour leader Neil Kinnock in the audience watching an actor play him in the Arcola Theatre production of Gareth Thomas story Crouch Touch Pause Engage.
- Read on for details of the blogger who inspired our visit to this show
There were no such audience celeb spots here at Islington’s Old Red Lion Theatre which is appropriately above a real-life pub but the story was similar. Jimmy Hall (played by Matthew Marrs) is a rugby player with a girlfriend, and a secret boyfriend, who is outed by a blogger.
Speaking of bloggers, we should thank Revstan, who recommended this and is the reason why we’re here.
Actor Marrs plays all the parts in this hour-long Plane Paper Theatre production and his Michael Owen/Jonny Greenwood looks help him convince in the main role. Where Odd Shaped Balls differs to Crouch, is that it’s a story about a sportsman with the best of his career ahead of him rather than one who already has trophies in his cupboard.
Hall has little wish to be a positive role model either and his confusion feels as real as his awkwardness about being forced into the open about his sexuality in a world which may not yet ready to crouch, touch, pause and engage with such expression.
Sometimes it can be confusing working out which voice is speaking in this one-hander but it’s a show well worth persevering with.
This is topical subject matter and the complexity is never shied away from, with the writing, acting and staging always first class.
- Picture by Luke W. Robson via Facebook courtesy Plane Paper Theatre. Tickets here.
- Enjoyed this review? Follow its author on Twitter @NeilDurham