‘The way they’re changing endz is nuts.’
Red Pitch. South London. Three lifelong friends Omz, Bilal and Joey are playing football. Like they always have. Living out dreams of football stardom. Beyond their football pitch, local shops are closing, old flats are being demolished as new flats shoot up, some residents struggle to stay while others rush to leave.
A coming-of-age story about what it means to belong somewhere, Tyrell Williams’ fast-paced and sharp-edged play tells a powerful story about gentrification, regeneration and the impact of this relentless change on London’s communities.
Red Pitch received an ecstatic critical and audience response when it was first performed at the Bush Theatre, London, in February 2022, directed by Associate Artistic Director Daniel Bailey. The production was revived at the Bush in September 2023, with this definitive version of the text.
For Red Pitch, Tyrell Williams won the Evening Standard Theatre Award and the Critics’ Circle Theatre Award both for Most Promising Playwright, The Stage Debut Award for Best Writer, the George Devine Award, as well as the Off West End Award for Best New Play.
An earlier version of the play was presented in June 2019, as part of the Untold Season at Ovalhouse, London.
‘Fierce, affectionate and effortlessly funny’
’90 minutes of end-to-end stuff… the plot is pacy and exciting. The language is rich and vivid. It’s also very funny… It’s still rare to see a play about young, black, working-class youths on our stages: rarer still to see one in which they are celebrated like this’
— Evening Standard
‘Intelligent, nuanced – an unbelievable debut… phenomenal… true mastery of craft. It’s a next-level coming-of-age story’
— The Stage
‘Sharp, funny and deeply poignant… feels wholly authentic… an eloquent love letter to our increasingly threatened public spaces… Tyrell Williams is a rising talent of the first rank. Theatre needs voices like his’
‘A triumphant take on flux and football in a fast-changing south London neighbourhood’
‘An absolute cracker… Williams takes the simplest of situations and uses it to paint a brilliant but bleak picture of the trials of growing up in south London… Huge themes bubble through its smart, overlapping dialogue… what is so wonderful about Red Pitch is that the teenagers are written so richly that they don’t represent a type or an aspiration. The plot is tight, but never schematic. Their reality makes their plight all the more moving… a play that is set to become a classic’
— WhatsOnStage (2023)
‘Beautifully crafted… it manages to feel hugely meaningful while relatively little happens… it’s hard not to imagine that for Williams, the theatrical Premier League beckons after this debut that’s both zeitgeisty and timelessly humane’
— Time Out
Best New Play, OffWestEnd Awards
Best Writer, Stage Debut Awards
George Devine Award
Most Promising Playwright, Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards
Most Promising Playwright, Evening Standard Theatre Awards