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First Touch, inspired by abuse scandals in football, to have world premiere at Nottingham Playhouse

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Inspired by the recent abuse scandals in football is a hard-hitting drama that gets its world premiere at Nottingham Playhouse this weekend.

First Touch, which runs from Saturday, May 7, to May 21, is the heartfelt story about what it takes to fulfil one’s dreams.

Written by rising talent Nathaniel Price (Noughts And Crosses on the BBC) ­— First Touch tells the story of Clayton James, a 17-year-old Nottingham lad who dreams of becoming the next Viv Anderson.

Chloe Oxley & Raphael Akuwudike in rehearsal for First Touch (Photo Manuel Harlan) (56333586)
Chloe Oxley & Raphael Akuwudike in rehearsal for First Touch (Photo Manuel Harlan) (56333586)

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 at the beginning of the 1980s 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?

The production, features Raphael Akuwudike, in his first stage role since graduating from drama school, as Clayton.

He is joined by Nicholas Bailey, well-known for playing Dr Anthony Trueman in EastEnders, as Patterson, and Claire Goose, from Waking The Dead and Casualty, as Freya.

Completing the cast are Chloe Oxley as Serena and Arthur Wilson as Lafferty.

First Touch, a Nottingham Playhouse production, is directed by Jeff James.

It is suitable for ages 14 and over.

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