What would you do if you were never touched by a fellow human again?
Strip clubs. How do you feel about them? Look at these women harnessing their sexuality, using it. Strong, confident, high-heeled. But are they bored, desperate or ashamed? Can this industry exist without being exploitative? And the patrons, who are they? Arrogant, misogynist, users, abusers, lonely? Craving touch? Needing conversation? Can an industry built on the objectification of women provide a space for companionship and intimacy?
'The Touch Industry' is the premier work for new interstate collaborative theatre company The Sonder Line in partnership with the Anywhere Festival and The Candy Club. A site specific contemporary performance work, 'The Touch Industry' explores the human need for affection in a consumerist culture. Performed inside Brisbane’s oldest trading gentleman’s club, The Candy Club, and inspired by the stories and experiences of dancers and patrons alike, 'The Touch Industry' will investigate some of the ways that this primal need for contact manifests itself in society.
The realm of the gentleman’s club is not as simple as black and white. Many people have strong reactions to the industry but are these reactions based on experience or preconception? The Sonder Line invites the regulars, the sporadic and the never-set-foot-in-a-strip-club-before a chance to see through some of the spectacle and stigma to the authentic heart of what happens on the other side of the stage. Co-creator of the production, Katherine Shaw opens up about five ways to touch, physically, spiritually and emotionally.
Heart races. Hands tremble.
The vacancy, the empty, the craving, the absence that drives the search.
That slap on the butt in a club, that friend’s father who hugs you just a moment too long, that man who thinks you need guiding through the doorway with his hand on your back, the one who flutters back into your life, brushes your hand and sends your heart plummeting beneath your feet.
I will let you touch me in return for…
Balance, equilibrium, rare, precious.'The Touch Industry' performs The Candy Club, 5-21 May.