How important is touch to you?
Is there enough touch in the world or are we experiencing collective 'touch hunger' in these troubling times?
Touchstone Tales is a unique collection of revealing and illuminating stories of Lutonians, seen through the prism of touch. Originally a Revoluton Arts/Wellcome collection co-commission, it is part of Wellcome's national arts partnership programme and is an artist response to 'The Touch Test', Wellcome's study on the role that touch plays in the lives and well-being of people.
Pholi, a Sikh widow in isolation reminisces about Romancing in Bury Park in the 60s and delights in the children of her Polish neighbours. Hamza aka Desi cake lover awaits his Amazon parcels hoping that the arrival of 'rose petals' for his Persian love cake will help him find love in lockdown, The Ninja Sister inspires Sophia out of her shell and gives her the gift of confidence and faith in God, through sparring with the 'sisters' at Pink Diamond martial arts Club and in The Eid Hug, Anwar searches for his father's full embrace, even in middle age.
Farid and Manju celebrate their inter-faith friendship through iconic song and stories of lost loves and youth in The Fairy Queen, Nazira shares her buried secret in And the world kept turning, and offers touch through performing the last rites for others, a particularly humbling experience during Covid 19 and Atif in Paisley and Roses helps customers to adorn themselves in silks and shawls and realises that it is his absent mother's touch that he is longing for in her fineries.
Written by award-winning author Sudha Bhuchar, the play explores the theme of touch through a collection of fictional self-portrait monologues and a dualogue, directly inspired by creative encounters with mainly the British Muslim South Asian communities in Bury Park, Luton.