Words: Robert Parker-White
“The future of sport is queer, because the present is queer.”
PITCH is a unique and necessary story that highlights the struggles of the LGBTQ+ community in sport both on a professional and local level. This story has a place in the theatre industry, driving towards a more inclusive sporting world for queer people.
The truth and honesty delivered by the actors was beautiful, particularly newcomer to the football team Bill – played by Elijah Harris. Bill joins the queer-identifying team the ‘Muddy Studs’ as he reclaims his love for the sport as an openly trans man. Bill finds an inclusive football team, but more than that, an inclusive community. The themes of acceptance; friends being there for each other on and off the pitch, makes for a show grounded in friendship and love.
However, the character relationships feel slightly two-dimensional. Conflict is only present in flashbacks, meaning the narrative feels like it has low stakes. This show has a vital message, and the beginnings of an exceptional story, but needs more time in development.
The best moments came when fusing theatrical movement with football moves: the warm ups, the theatrical retelling of the game of football. The prop football felt awkward on stage, as is often the case with theatre depicting sport, because of its minimal use. The actors only used the ball a couple of times (due to the small playing space), but this felt more uncomfortable than not using the ball at all.
This show poses an important question about the place of queer people in sport and relates to the queer community, particularly those who love both sport and theatre.
Pleasance Courtyard, Above
8, 10-15, 17-22, 24-28 Aug