Former art and design student Luke Robson, is preparing to make his Edinburgh Festival debut with a production exploring sexuality in sport.
Odd Shaped Balls tells the story of a young gay rugby player who sets out to tackle homophobia in the sporting world after being ‘outed’ by the media. The play, which will run as part of the Edinburgh Fringe, has been produced by Plane Paper Theatre, a company launched and run by Luke.
Luke completed the Art and Design Foundation Diploma at Banbury and Bicester College before embarking on his fine art degree at Newcastle University, where he is about to enter his third year.
He said: “The diploma course gives you a broad basis from which you can specialise. You get to explore textiles, ceramics, design, painting and drawing and it is excellent preparation for a fine art degree and a career in the creative industries.
“During my year on the foundation diploma, I really developed my interest in storytelling through film making. I was encouraged to apply to the British Film Institute and was lucky enough to be accepted onto their short courses in Oxford and London. My teachers were really supportive and that helped to make the year so successful for me.
“The art facilities at Banbury are arguably better than the ones you find at university, which is impressive considering the college course is free and university programmes cost around £9,000 a year. I feel like I made the most of that year and that set me up for my degree. It certainly gave me more confidence to continue studying.”
After graduating, Luke plans to build a career as a production designer in the film industry. But he is currently enjoying overseeing his second theatre production with Plane Paper Theatre. He said: “We set out to get to Edinburgh and did an open call for scripts. We had about 50 responses, including some from America and Canada, which is impressive for such a young company. Odd Shaped Balls stood out as capturing a contemporary issue in an engaging way.
“We have been fortunate to attract sponsorship from Northern Pride and Kits4All and we hope to donate any proceeds from the show to International Gay Rugby (IGR), a charity that aims to promote equality and diversity in the sport.”