Behind the beautiful game lies a shocking truth 

Clayton James, a 17-year-old Nottingham lad, dreams of becoming the next Viv Anderson. With a prodigious talent, the offer of a professional contract at a First Division club and a growing romance with girlfriend Serena, he appears to have the world at his feet.

But life in the late 70s isn’t easy for Clayton and his family, trying to make it in an era of racism and hooliganism. And Clayton’s steelworker dad Patterson faces an uncertain future as the Thatcher government faces off against the unions.

When his charismatic and powerful former coach, Lafferty, returns after four years away, Clayton is forced to confront painful memories of the past. Can he protect his loved ones from the truth of what he endured?

A world premiere, inspired by the recent football abuse scandals, First Touch is a gripping and heartfelt drama about what it takes to fulfil your dreams, by rising screenwriter Nathaniel Price (BBC’s Noughts and Crosses and Sky’s Tin Star).

How It Works

Once you have rented First Touch – On Demand, you will receive an email with your e-ticket attached. This e-ticket will contain a link to the page on our website where the recording can be accessed. You will need to login to your Nottingham Playhouse account to view the video.

You will have access to the recording for five days. Please make sure you watch the show before the end of your rental period to make sure you don’t miss out.

If renting the show after Monday 13 June 2022, please be aware that your rental period will be reduced as the recording must be taken down on Saturday 18 June 2022. We, therefore, recommend renting early to enjoy the full five days access and to avoid disappointment.

If you don’t receive your e-ticket straight away after purchasing, please check your spam/junk folders.

If you are using a smart TV, you should be able to access the show through your browser. You can find help and advice on this and more on our FAQs page.


We will be providing British Sign Language Interpretation, Captioning and Audio Description for this On Demand show. The access versions are not yet ready but please check back shortly. If you have any questions about our access versions please email

Find out more about Access at Nottingham Playhouse here.


Raphael Akuwudike
Clayton Raphael Akuwudike
Nicholas Bailey
Patterson Nicholas Bailey
Neal Craig
Uncle Kevin Neal Craig
Taiden Fairall
Courtney Taiden Fairall
Claire Goose
Freya Claire Goose
Isaac McLeod
Courtney Isaac McLeod
Chloe Oxley
Serena Chloe Oxley
Arthur Wilson
Lafferty Arthur Wilson


Writer Nathaniel Price
Director Jeff James
Set and Costume Designer Charlotte Espiner
Lighting Designer Hansjörg Schmidt
Sound Designer Kieran Lucas
Movement Director Kane Husbands
Script Consultant Amanda Whittington
Casting Director Polly Jerrold
Voice and Dialect Coach Salvatore Sorce
Additional Dialect Support Hazel Holder
Dramatherapist Nikki Disney

Support Services for anyone affected by the content of First Touch