• Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

Fringe 2023: Pitch

ByIone Gildroy

Sep 13, 2023

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

If you’d told me a month ago that I would be going to watch a play entirely about football, I wouldn’t have believed it. But like so many people, I have been inspired by the Lionesses’ trials in Australia and New Zealand (and by the gentle pestering of my girlfriend) to get more interested in the game. Pitch really speaks to the friendly and welcoming atmosphere that the Lionesses have created and it makes sense that the play was created during the wonderful frenzy after the Lionesses’ triumph at the Euros.

Pitch follows a group of players who play for a queer grassroots football team in London and shows us their stories and the stories of real-life players. The play is really made special by the inclusion of these interviews. Each person has something different to say and it is both inspiring and emotional to hear how homophobia or transphobia has impacted their lives and decisions to play football and how they have overcome these things.

The characters we follow include a player who retired from a professional career after being subjected to homophobia in the changing rooms, his sister, a gay woman who was also forced to retire after an injury, a couple who met watching a game at the pub, and our newcomer, whose eyes we see the team through, who is learning to love the game again after his transition. The acting is brilliant from all actors.

Pitch is both important and emotional and great fun to watch. The stage and costume design and choreography is slick and cleverly done – the cast use chalk to draw out a pitch on the floor, and to write out names OF, benches are repurposed to become cones, games are portrayed in an innovative way. 

Pitch succeeds in its portrayal of queer allyship and community and leave its audience feeling warm and touched. It’s a fierce and important watch and undoubtedly one of my fringe favourites. The team behind Pitch hope to take it on tour – I really hope they succeed as I can’t imagine the positive impact that this could have on so many people. It is also wonderful to watch a play that although touches on homophobia and transphobia, focuses mainly on queer joy.

Image provided to The Student as press material.

By Ione Gildroy

Former Deputy Editor-in-Chief Former News Editor