WORDS WEEKEND REVIEW: Jackie Hagan @ Sage Gateshead (08.12.19) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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There weren’t enough people there. The Sage Gateshead concourse was filled to capacity with wine-sipping people watchers, but only a few individuals gathered to witness live this council estate Scouser with one leg and her extraordinary poetry.

Jackie Hagan brought a selection of poems from her writing over the last ten years (with fresh material only the cats had heard before today), each with a humorous, perceptive introduction from her own lived experience, concluding with a game of Celebrity Stumps!

An updated, adapted version of her show This Is Not A Safe Space, this performance explored PIP forms and mental health wards, and how to navigate this world that is not set up for people with broken bits (that’s most of us). In no way shying away from the reality of her struggles, Jackie’s optimism – “rolling the shit in glitter” – shone through. Writing is helping her find a way through and her writing will help others find their way too. That’s why you needed to be there.

Having had her leg amputated five years ago, Jackie hates being called ‘brave’ every five minutes, but standing up in front of a small audience at 2pm at a literary festival when you’re used to late night shows in packed pubs takes courage.  Jackie Hagan’s raw honesty and vulnerability showed how no subject should ever be off limits – please don’t ever let anyone or anything silence that voice.

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