Oddball - Review
Updated: Sep 28, 2019
With a title like Oddball you can never be sure what you’re going to get. It sounds random and in many ways it is as the lead jumps from topic to topic but it is made coherent and threads together an emotional story. Oddball is a show where a woman takes you through her thoughts as she prepares for a date and determines how much of herself she wants to share. If she doesn’t share all of her self she certainly shares a lot of herself with the audience. She starts of sharing the things she likes and wants to say and then opens up and shares her vulnerability. Through this journey we explore her relationship with food, her past experiences and how that impacts where she is today, as she prepares for a date.
One thing that became evident was how easy it is to use humour as both a crutch and an armour but also can be used as a great way to allow people to learn more about difficult topics. This show is an example of all three.
Francesca Forristal is a thoroughly compelling actress and keeps the audience’s attention throughout. She opens the show with a burst of energy and maintains this throughout taking the audience on an unexpected rollercoaster journey of emotions. She’s a comedic force that is even able to find humour in anorexia. (And she also likes musicals which is never a bad thing.)
I was struck by how well constructed the performance is. There has been a lot of thought about which emotions they want to elicit from the audience and have put together a well crafted narrative with her vulnerability being slowly revealed as the protective layers are each peeled away. The use of sound in the show is silly yet imaginative and is used to great effect. In such a small space it’s also impressive how well they use light, with one scene in particular allowing her to jump from spotlight to spotlight conveying a number of bad dates. The cues for each of these changes were flawless and is testament to the hard work that has gone into the production.
It is gems like Oddball which make the Camden Fringe so exciting. We thoroughly recommend going to see this. You’ll leave having had plenty of laughs while having a little more understanding about anorexia and mental health. We give this 4 Laura Michelle-Kelly stars.
Tickets are available here https://upstairsatthegatehouse.cloudvenue.co.uk/oddball