It's 1973, and Houston's Astrodome is playing host to one of the biggest cultural events of all time as Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs face-off in the Battle of the Sexes tennis match.
From the creative team behind 'Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally', 'Balls' is a high-intensity theatrical retelling of this unforgettable match and the cultural debates it ignited around sexism, women-in-sport, and equality. One Year Lease's high-energy physical style attempts to capture the carnival atmosphere of the original event, and features a shot-by-shot re-imagining of the entire match.
See it if you can appreciate the impact of '70s cultural icons like Billie Jean King and Helen Reddy. Open to an evening leaning more to a spectacle?
Don't see it if you need a traditional evening of a linear play. This is an event with depth mixed with frolic. The angling of the net is a brilliant effect
See it if you want to see some clever staging by Ianthe Demos and Nick Flint.
Don't see it if you want to be hit over the head with the play's themes. You enjoy plays with well-developed characters, and has an arc.
See it if You are a huge tennis fan and need to follow every single aspect of the sport. You saw the movie and want to compare the treatment.
Don't see it if You can’t deal with dialogue that is almost 100% shouted. There is almost no vocal variety.You require a forward moving plot !
See it if You are interested in headlines that were contemporaneous with Riggs vs King match. Tries to tell 3 meaningful stories within the matchplay
Don't see it if You dont like lights and frantic movement, overlapping stories, and overall cacophony.
See it if you’d enjoy a drama about the King-Riggs matches interspersed with the story of how gender constructs affect an unrelated romance.
Don't see it if you would prefer a linear plot that focuses only on the participants in the famous tennis match.
Also Absolutely loved the diversity in casting.
See it if an overly ambitious piece of theater dealing with equal rights using the famous King/Riggs tennis match as its basis for metaphor.
Don't see it if you know nothing about tennis, especially its scoring or if that famous tennis match is unknown to you.
See it if you want a show that is about much more than a tennis match. It focuses on women's rights, abortion and LGBT equality, but with humor.
Don't see it if you don't care about how gender equality has advanced in recent history.
See it if you want to see a great staging of THE tennis match of the century. Very creative was to keep you engaged as the match was replayed.
Don't see it if you do not like shows about the feminist movement, abortion and women and gay rights.
See it if want a bunch of themes from feminism to scandal lobbed at you (pun intended) in an immersive setting
Don't see it if want more depth as too many ideas thrown out in this short play
See it if only is you like tennis and know something about the history of the 1973 Battle of the Sexes tennis match.
Don't see it if if you are a real fan of the game of tennis. You might just leave the theater running and screaming.
See it if you want to see a reenactment of the King/Riggs Tennis match in the 70's with lots of other encounters thrown in that make it crazy.
Don't see it if you have no interest in tennis, or seeing the King/Riggs match performed for 80 long minutes.
See it if Interest in Tennis not required, but knowing about this big match helpful. Staging was ingenious. Some of the characters were unnecessary.
Don't see it if You want a really good, serious play. If tennis bores you. If silliness on the stage annoys you.
See it if interesting parallel of the battle of the sexes against the modern day. learned a lot about billie jean king.
Don't see it if you have no interest in tennis, the 1970s or the topic of gender
See it if A show about sexism, sports, and a great talked about match in history. If you like tidbits about feminism and history in your shows
Don't see it if You just want to see a match about tennis
See it if You are a sports fan and want a bit of fluff and some interesting staging and were interested in the King/Riggs match
Don't see it if You don’t like tennis
See it if you love tennis, shows about historical events or you want to see a really uniquely staged show.
Don't see it if you don't like tennis, history or you do not like shows that do not strictly follow a linear plot.
See it if A quirky fun piece of theater..cleverly staged, well acted -quick paced but chaotic at times -you don't need to know about infamous .match
Don't see it if You want linear totally sensible theater--you hate tennis. aren't interested in the historical match, Riggs or BJ King event.
See it if you are fascinated with the collaborative nature of theatre. The interaction between sound, lights, actors, props...it's pretty masterful.
Don't see it if you want a story only focused on the tennis match. They use this as a base for other themes, which are hit and miss.
See it if You want to see some very good actors pull off a fun piece, creatively staged in very close quarters.
Don't see it if Getting preached to or hit over the head with “the point” of the work annoys you.
See it if you want to see a light inventive take on a very familiar story. (Especially now.)
Don't see it if Imposed subplot to give show the passage of time and values given too much weight and stage time. Clowns imposed for no real reason.
See it if you love seeing new ways of approaching how to tell a story, or you are fascinated by the 1973 Battle of the Sexes tennis event.
Don't see it if you are expecting a serious sociological study or super-quality writing/acting -- the coolest thing about this is the technical precision.
See it if you love shows about gender equality or have an affinity for Billie Jean King or tennis.
Don't see it if you'd like to see a well-oiled show.
See it if You’re a hardcore tennis or movement theatre fan
Don't see it if You like plays that actually *do* something.
Also A staging badly in need of a play.
See it if you will be delighted by a constantly-moving and highly creative staging and excellent design on a small but very impressive scale.
Don't see it if you are expecting a deep dive into the subject matter or anything more than a simple gloss on the complicated subject of gender equality.