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Red Pitch opens at @sohoplace

[AD – Gifted*]

The football-themed play Red Pitch is now in previews in the West End, finding a home at @sohoplace following the closure of The Little Big Things. Tyrell Williams’ work enjoyed two sell-out runs at the Bush Theatre, before transferring to the West End this March for 58 performances. Previews started on Friday and I was fortunate enough to be invited to the first performance by the lovely team at London Box Office. With changes possible ahead of the official press night, it is too early in the run to write a full review, but I am keen to objectively discuss the show and hopefully provide some insight about whether you need to be a football fan to appreciate the play.

Red Pitch poster outside @sohoplace in the West End

What is Red Pitch about?

Three best friends share a love of football, visiting their precious red pitch after school and at weekends. Their South London neighbourhood is changing, with local businesses getting replaced by chains, proposed redevelopments taking over their beloved housing estate and the threat of gentrification on every corner. Despite this uncertainty, Bilal (Kedar Williams-Stirling), Joey (Emeka Sesay) and Omz (Francis Lovehall) are sixteen year olds with dreams of playing for the big league football clubs, playing weekly in their local Sunday league. When an opportunity arises to try out for QPR, the friends navigate personal aspirations, family responsibilities and a commitment to each other, as they dream of securing a contract with the club. It is a story of friendship, which is visualised by director Daniel Bailey.

Red Pitch promotional posters outside @sohoplace, London

Do you need to be a football fan to appreciate the show?

Whilst football is the core subject matter, it is actually a metaphor for dreams, with the teenagers aspiring to get signed to the club. The play looks at local neighbourhoods and the significance of public spaces to communities, specifically the impact that they can have on people’s lives. I am sure we can all liken another sports club, youth group or community venue in our local area to the pitch in Williams’ play and you can appreciate its significance from a context outside of football.

Top tips for watching the show in the West End

  1. Find your seats early. The cast kick a ball around ahead of the start time, immersing you into the subject matter.
  2. Try and book stalls seats if you can, as from this level you can really experience the athleticism of the piece.
  3. Come prepared for a fast-paced piece of theatre that includes lots of London slang. Any earlier insight into colloquial terminology will make the script easier to follow.
Red Pitch programme in front of the stage at @sohoplace, London

Where can you find the show?

You can catch Red Pitch at the accessible @sohoplace, which is literally footsteps from Tottenham Court Road station. It is the West End’s most modern venue and features surround seating, with the seats encircling the football pitch staging.

Structure and running time

Running at approximately 90 minutes with no interval, Red Pitch will appeal to out-of-town theatre goers like myself. Being able to see an engaging play and still make one of the last trains home with no panic, is such a rarity in the West End. I believe only The Choir of Man and SIX can match it, in terms of having a shorter, one act structure.

Red Pitch curtain call at @sohoplace in the West End

Booking tickets

Red Pitch is playing in London until Saturday 4th May. I look forward to hearing what the critics think on press night, when the creative decisions are locked in and no further changes are made. If you are interested in seeing the show, head over to London Box Office’s website to purchase tickets. A handful of dates are currently on offer, with 31% off selected performances. Given the short run time, Red Pitch is definitely a show to consider for a midweek theatre trip.

Thanks for reading my blog today.

Love Kat xxxx

*My ticket for Red Pitch was gifted in exchange for social and website coverage.



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