Touch Hunger

During both lockdowns, everyone experienced something being taken away that we possibly have taken a lot for granted. The power of human touch. When that is taken away, what is left? What other methods could we resort to in order to potentially replace touch?

A well needed contrast to the hustle and bustle of the Fringe

Touch Hunger explored the elements of touch, smell and taste which gave a different take of embracing a new way of replicating what has been lost. Everything took place in the beautiful setting of the garden of The Friends' Meeting House in Brighton's famous South Laines, gently reminding us to switch off and get back to nature by allowing the sights, sounds and smells influence our individual awareness of being. From the use of hand sanitiser infused with essential oils such as lavender and sandalwood, to feeling the grass beneath our bare feet and eating a tangerine by savouring the feel of the skin, then peeling it away and being encouraged to savour and play with our food, rather than just eating it. For some, this meant being allowed to squash the tangerine and letting the juices flow between their fingers creating a squeal of joy. For others, it meant actually slowing down and savouring the flavour of each piece of the fruit as they bit into it. Some even found their playful side by pulling away the strands of the tangerine as it got separated forming 'spiders' as they were called.

All these things mentioned may appear too simplistic at first, but actually experiencing these in the flesh was a blissful way to strip away what we may think we know about the simple things in life, such as food, in order to get back to basics and reconnect with what makes us joyful. Being allowed to reconnect with ourselves in a safe environment under the watchful eyes of Ali Hannon and Clare Plumley using these methods, enabled us to just be in the moment and ground ourselves properly whilst the world slowly embraces a new normality of being around people. We were also encouraged to make our own concoction using the tangerine, mint, lemongrass and more natural ingredients provided by the two ladies to look after our insides using the new techniques of allowing ourselves to play and savour each smell, taste and more. This was a refreshing take on what we can do to recreate the feeling of a hug from the inside out using these holistic and natural practices to enable this process to occur.

There were other elements to experience, but in order to find out what they are, this event is not to be missed. Touch Hunger is not just an event, but an in-depth experience to be had. A well needed contrast to the hustle and bustle of the Fringe to allow us to be still for just a moment. Highly recommended.

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Reviews by Sascha Cooper

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Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
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Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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The Blurb

How do we replicate intimacy with other people in this time without touch? Do we need touch to survive? How do we sate touch hunger? What sensations can we cultivate in lieu of the touch of others, and what else might we develop a touching relationship with to meet our needs? How might we queer touch and expand our sensory bandwidth? Ali Hannon, performer and Clare Plumley, participatory artist will guide you through a series of live art experiences to bring you into close contact with both your human and more than human kin via spoken and written word, nature exploration, art and improv. A piece on touch that at no point asks anyone to touch us or each other. This is an outdoor event and will run whatever the weather so please dress appropriately.

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