Sheila is 52, overworked with no time for herself. She gets an appointment to attend the mobile breast screening unit…Will she go? Brenda, Noreen, Pauline, her hairdresser, and the girl in the Wonderbra advert help her make up her mind!

As part of Women & Theatre’s Revive programme, celebrating the company’s 40th anniversary, W&T remounted its breast awareness play Touch Wood, for a short community tour.

The play toured to community settings in Yardley, Ward End and Smethwick in October 2023.

Developed from research with women and professionals, Touch Wood presents the humorous and touching story of Sheila, an ordinary woman, a factory worker, wife and mother, who receives an invitation to attend breast screening for the first time. The invitation generates questions and worries for her about the screening itself and the possibility of cancer being found, fuelled by rumours and myths she has heard.

This entertaining theatre piece was accompanied by a post-show discussion with the opportunity to ask questions and share information.

Originally commissioned by Walsall Health and Walsall Community Arts in 1996, to increase the uptake of breast screening. Although predominantly for women aged 50 plus, the funny and accessible nature of Touch Wood has led to its popularity with young and mixed audiences.

The play has won a Healthy Alliance Award for Cancer Prevention.

Funders & Partners 

Arts Council England, St Cyprian’s Memorial Hall, The Dolphin Women’s Centre, Dorothy Parkes Centre