Consent Week: Caravan Theatre’s ‘Can’t Touch This’

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This week has marked the first Loughborough Consent Week, with events and talks happening all week across campus. Today saw the final day of the event and it was rounded off with a special visit by the Caravan Theatre Company to bring us their unique theatrical experience ‘Can’t Touch This’.

The theatre itself is enough to hint towards an original theatre experience. The small caravan is covered on the outside with testimonies from previous audiences, with people claiming ‘this happens every week’ and ‘guys need to see this’. Once inside, the darkness of the cramped caravan immediately gave the impression of a dimly lit, packed nightclub, the setting for the play.

The play itself manages to pack a lot into its short 10 minute run time, moving fluidly from moments of comedy to the disturbingly recognisable harassment that women can receive on nights out. The story follows two female freshers on a night out and shows how a fun night out with your mate can be spoilt by unwanted attention.

The play is sure to be a hit among university students as it contains many elements that are almost scarily relatable. The self-conscious interior monologue of someone waiting to be served provides a large amount of the comedy and the two performers manage to successfully pull apart the all too common sexist ‘banter’ between guys for how it really comes across; ugly and ignorant.

But it’s the plays climax that hits the most chilling note, where the piece displays how the line between fun and harassment is so easily crossed. It seems important to show university students that something they might see every night can be much more distressing to the people involved than it looks from the outside. As the company continue to tour the country I am sure that their message will be vitally relevant everywhere they go.

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