Powerful stories will be told online this weekend about something many of us have lacked in recent months - touch.
Award-winning actor and playwright Sudha Bhuchar has been working with the diverse community of Bury Park in Luton to explore people’s responses to questions around the concept of touch - its importance, its presence and its absence.
The evolving project is titled Touchstone Tales and is being showcased on Friday June 26.
Arts organisation Revoluton commissioned Sudha to work with people living or connected in any way to the Bury Park area.
Sudha has so far engaged with groups that include Pink Diamond Martial Arts Club, Dar Aminah Bookclub, a local high school, wellbeing groups at Bury Park Community Centre and many shopkeepers, local artists, parents and individuals.
People have been sharing their stories of touch before and during lockdown through face-to-face recorded interviews, online and physical workshops and many creative encounters.
In the online showcase, Sudha will share her exploration to date with new writin and monologues inspired by verbatim testimony that she has gathered in her engagement and interviews.
Sudha’s practice of ‘verbatim theatre’ aims to honour the poetry of people captured in their own words yet allows for artistic freedom and protection of anonymity when required. This allows for untold stories from under-represented communities to come to the fore and be celebrated.
This event is directed by Kristine Landon-Smith, who co-founded Tamasha Theatre Company with Sudha. It is a work in development, giving a short preview of the final piece, due to be shared publicly in October, and inviting feedback.
Sudha’s recent acting credits include Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns and the upcoming film by Riz Ahmed and Bassam Tariq, Mogul Mowgli.
Visit https://www.revolutonarts.com/events/touchstone-tales-monologues for full details of the project and to watch the showcase on Friday.