Touch is one of those shows where everything is exactly as it should be.
Jacky (Katarzyna Wizental) used to teach people to understand each other better, to really see others without projecting the self onto them; upon realising the difficulties of achieving that in her own life she falls back into a cycle of self-harm. Traditional audience expectations are masterfully thrown to the wind, with the incitement to become a part of the performance by sitting onstage with the performer, accepting the offer of a cupcake, or even holding her hand. These elements of audience interaction are not mere gimmicks; they subtly propel you from a purely spectatorial role to one of active emotional involvement.
Director Marta Mari helps bring Ciarán Myers’ already powerful script to life. Changes in pace and intensity, which could become melodramatic in less skilful hands, are effective and affecting: they help maintain the audience’s full attention throughout the 50 minutes. Wizantal is mesmerising as the wide-eyed, soft-spoken yet intense Jacky. Her performance is honest and in turn provokes an honest emotional reaction, making it difficult to not feel some level of kinship with this lonely and troubled soul.
Touch is one of those shows where everything is exactly as it should be, from the writing to the performing to the sound design. A truly unique theatre experience, it tests the limits of your own compassion and leaves you questioning the very nature of human connections and relations.