Following the sold-out run of their recent performance installation Skin Hunger, Dante or Die has joined forces with award-winning documentary film maker Pinny Grylls in creating a short film inspired by the play, about the power of touch. The film will be launched on 19 October, with a zoom Q & A hosted by BBC’s film critic Rhianna Dhillon and will then be available to stream for free via YouTube.
The company will be screening the film and facilitating bespoke theatre workshops about the importance of touch to prisons, care homes and arts centres across the UK from October.
Co-Artistic Directors Daphna Attias and Terry O’Donovan said ‘It’s so rare that we get a real insight into how theatre can deeply affect people. After 18 months of so little ‘liveness’ in our lives it feels so important to celebrate that singular experience of audience and theatre reconnecting. For us, the film is like a microscope zooming into the power of sharing spaces and stories in person’
This moving and insightful short film follows three audience members of the stage show for whom touch is a key part of their lives – Helen, a dementia care worker, Morgan, an ex-prisoner and Francis, a neuroscientist who specialises in touch.
Francis McGlone, Professor of Affective Neuroscience at Liverpool John Moores University who appears in the film said “What the pandemic has done …is awakened the whole planet to the fact that touch is important. This touch system is basically building a resilience to stress, it is helping us cope with stress. Switch it off and I don’t think it takes a neuroscientist to see that there could be some negative consequences in our ability to cope with the normal stresses of everyday life.”
Dante or Die will work with a variety of groups including neurodivergent adults and care home workers, to creatively explore how crucial touch is for wellbeing and question how long we will be risk assessing a hug. The screenings and workshop programme were developed during the second lockdown as an opportunity for Dante or Die to continue to connect with new audiences and participants despite not being able to tour the Skin Hunger live production.
Skin Hunger on Film can be viewed for free on its own or can be seen alongside a pay what you decide release of the full stage production Skin Hunger. To join the film’s digital launch zoom Q & A on 19th October, following the Youtube Premiere of the film, please register for free here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/skin-hunger-on-film-digital-launch-q-a-registration-181719155887