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).



School tickets are £12 each (subject to availability). One teacher goes free with every ten tickets purchased. Groups of 10 or more can save up to 20% on tickets (subject to availability). Book by calling the Box Office on 0115 941 9419.


Groups of 10 or more can save up to 20% on full price tickets.

Discount will be automatically applied on the ‘Checkout’ screen. Book up to 20 tickets online with the groups discount, discounts vary per performance and are subject to availability.

See the list of discounted performances on the Group Discounts Page.

Have a large group looking to attend? Please email and a member of the team will be able to assist.


An extra £1.50 charge will be added to your order if you would like your tickets posted to you. (Postage free to Playhouse Pass members.)



We provide British Sign Language Interpretation, Captioning and Audio Description for this production.

Everyone is welcome to attend accessible performances, customers experience the full show including the accessible services.

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

COVID Guarantee

We’re so pleased to be welcoming audiences back to the venue but would like to reassure you that, should your booking be affected by the Coronavirus pandemic, you will be offered a refund, account credit or a ticket exchange (where available), giving you peace of mind when you book.