Red Pitch at the Bush Theatre. Photo by Helen Murray

Red Pitch Reviews

Reviews are coming in for the return of Tyrell Williams‘ acclaimed play Red Pitch at the Bush Theatre in London.

Directed by Daniel Bailey, Red Pitch stars Kedar Williams-Stirling (Sex Education), Emeka Sesay (The Power) and Francis Lovehall (A Thousand Blows) as three football obsessed teens in this fast-paced and sharp-edged play.

The 2022 production of Red Pitch won the Off West End Award for Best New Play, and Tyrell won the Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright, The Stage Debut Award for Best Writer, the Critics’ Circle Theatre Award for Most Promising Playwright and the George Devine Award. The production was nominated for a further seven Off West End Awards including Best Production, Best Performance Ensemble and Best Director.

In other Bush news, yesterday the Bush Theatre announced its Spring 2024 season including a range of new plays.

Red Pitch is playing at the Bush Theatre from 7 – 30 September 2023.

Read reviews from TimeOut, The Telegraph and more, with further reviews to be added.

Book tickets to Red Pitch at the Bush Theatre in London

Red Pitch reviews

The Financial Times

"Red Pitch is a model of brilliant new writing"

"... Williams draws a funny, affectionate and tender portrait of young male friendship."

"What’s so good about the play is that it never spells out the issues, it just shows them in action."

"Williams’s dialogue crackles with authenticity, as does Daniel Bailey’s superb production, and the three wonderful actors pinpoint their characters’ shifting emotions through precise gestures"

Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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What's On Stage

"Sarah Crompton is blown away by the returning piece of new writing"

"Williams takes the simplest of situations – three 16-year olds playing football on a scruffy urban pitch (the Red Pitch of the title) – and uses it to paint a brilliant but bleak picture of the trials of growing up in south London."

"... what is so wonderful about Red Pitch is that the teenagers, superbly and convincingly embodied by the play’s original cast, 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 magnificent production of a play that is set to become a classic"

Sarah Crompton, What's On Stage
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"Return of Tyrell Williams’s brilliant debut play about three gifted young Black footballers on a gentrifying London estate"

"It’s so beautifully crafted – empathetically acted, deftly directed by Daniel Bailey and with a lovely football court set by Amelia Jane Hankin – that it manages to feel hugely meaningful while relatively little happens. Or at least relatively little happens in the foreground, as the boys train and bicker in the run up to the trials. In the background, it’s apparent that their south London estate is changing."

"‘Red Pitch’ builds to one of the best and most horrible stage fights I’ve ever seen – brilliantly choreographed by Kev McCurdy – that points to the danger of inarticulate young men with insecure roots pinning their dreams to such a scarce opportunity as footballing stardom."

Andrzej Lukowski, TimeOut
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The Telegraph

"An award-winning play about football, London and male egos"

"Tyrell Williams’s award-winning Red Pitch returns to the Bush, and the quippy, charged dialogue of its three leads is as bracing as ever"

"There’s a wealth of awkward, rough-and-tumble affection between these lifelong friends, but there’s also an underlying tension: things could pop off at any moment. When later they do, it’s viscerally so"

"Williams’s vision of young black masculinity in London isn’t pitch-perfect in its pacing, but it is nimble and nuanced, with a West African lilt in the form of slang and an Afrobeats dance vignette."

"Football, gentrification and manhood might be the hooks on which this play hangs; but at its core, it’s about the vagaries of friendship."

Dzifa Benson, The Telegraph
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📷 Main photo: Red Pitch at the Bush Theatre. Photo by Helen Murray

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