Unlocking Touch

A participatory audio experience produced by May Productions and In Touch

Unlocking Touch is a participatory audio experience designed for people to encounter on their own indoors (a home or hotel room). The piece journeys through a central character’s (Mary) story and experience of lockdown which centres around different aspects of touch.

It is a research-based creative project drawing on a set of touch diaries kept by 14 participants over two to three weeks during lockdown. The piece is centred around four touch zones that emerged from these, and some of the diarists’ experiences, which inspired the fictional script.

How to prepare to experience Unlocking Touch

Throughout Unlocking Touch, Mary, a fictional character will guide you. Sometimes she will invite you to move with her (e.g., to walk or lie-down) or to interact with an object. (Content warning: there is an intense scene around pregnancy and childbirth.)

To experience Unlocking Touch:

• Use headphones and a mobile device (so you can move around)

• Listen to it in doors somewhere you feel relaxed (to help you feel free to participate)

• Ideally, experience it in one-uninterrupted stretch – it is 48 minutes long

• Ideally, experience it alone or undisturbed by others

• If possible (though not essential), experience it in a space with access to a window or outside

The everyday items you will need for Unlocking Touch, please place three items in a box (or bag):

• A stone (any kind, any size)

• A heavy soft object about the weight of a bag of flour (perhaps a cushion)

• An object (not a photo) that reminds you of someone you feel close to

Make a ‘nest’, place yourself and your box of items somewhere you can relax, perhaps bring some cushions around you, maybe a duvet or a blanket: this is your nest.

Unlocking Touch Team: Lisa May Thomas (Choreographer), Carey Jewitt (Researcher), David Lane (Writer), Helen Skiera (Sound-maker), Kirsty Cox (Actor), and Jo Newman (Director)

Unlocking Touch is produced by May Productions and In Touch, and funded by UCL Knowledge Exchange, Studio Wayne McGregor & the InTouch ERC project.