This Is Not A Safe Space. Jackie Hagan. DeStress Fest and touring.

Unlimited and Big Feast present:

This is not a safe space.

Based on interviews with over 80 people, poet and performer Jackie Hagan examines the impact of benefit cuts on disabled people and others on the margins of society

Written and performed by Jackie Hagan | Produced by Big Feast

Tour 23 – 30 March | Camden People’s Theatre 17 – 21 April

“A hymn to those who are hanging on by their fingertips but refusing to let go.” Guardian (on Cosmic Scallies)

According to a report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, half of people in poverty are disabled or live with a disabled person. In her show This is Not a Safe Space amputee poet and performer Jackie Hagan demands that people sit up, listen and care about this, and not keel over with empathy fatigue.

Drawing on first-person interviews with over 80 people and using DIY Puppetry, poetry and standup comedy, Jackie Hagan brings stories of those on the margins of society to the stage, with a particular emphasis on class, mental illness and disabilities. Far from sob stories, these testimonies reveal fully rounded lives full of spiky humour.

Jackie weaves these narratives together with poetry and anecdotes, celebrating the weird, the wonky, the unruly, and the resilient. There’s Trish who is sick of doctors not taking her seriously because she is mentally ill and disobedient. Neil who got arrested for the first time because “you can’t run when you’re laughing”; and Karen who is a wheelchair user who thinks we’d be better off letting sheep take over the world because humans are making a pig’s ear of it.

The UK tour of This is Not a Safe Space follows previews at Contact Manchester in October 2017. It was originally commissioned by Contact Manchester and Unlimited.

Jo Verrent, Senior Producer, Unlimited says, “This is Not a Safe Space is everything as commissioners that we hoped the work would be – passionate, provocative and placing voices that don’t usually get heard centre stage. Jackie Hagan is, rightly, riding a wave at the moment not in spite of or because of her disability, sexuality, gender or class, it’s because of her talent. Her words hit you and then stay with you. They change you.”

Speaking about This is Not a Safe Space, Jackie Hagan said “I wrote this show because I’m sick of seeing people like me misrepresented on rubbish shows like Benefits Street and ignored by theatre. I’m sick of people thinking we all just need to try a bit harder and stop spending our time drinking lager and watching our massive tellies. I grew up on a council estate, I’ve got one leg and I’m bipolar. I know you have to take the mickey out of things to get by. This show says we’re important, there’s tonnes of us and we’re not victims, saints or sinners. We’re people.”

Jackie Hagan is a working-class queer disabled poet, performer and theatre maker and a Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellow. Her work focuses on celebrating the experiences of people left out of the mainstream. Her solo show Some People Have Too Many Legs won the 2015 Saboteur Award for Best Spoken Word Show and toured nationally to venues including Hull Truck and Bristol Old Vic. Her play Cosmic Scallies was commissioned by Graeae and ran at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in summer 2017.

Unlimited is an arts commissioning programme that aims to embed work by disabled artists within the UK and international cultural sectors, reach new audiences and shift perceptions of disabled people. Unlimited is delivered by the disability-led arts organisation Shape Arts and arts-producing organisation Artsadmin, and is funded from 2016-20 by Arts Council England, Arts Council of Wales, British Council and Spirit of 2012.

Running Time: 60 minutes | Suitable for ages 14+

Company Information
Written and performed by Jackie Hagan Produced by Big Feast
Set and Costume Design by Katharine Heath Lighting Design by Sherry Coenen
Audio Production by Dave James

Listings information

23 March to 21 April

All performances will be BSL interpreted

23 & 24 Mar DeStress Fest*

Attenborough Centre, Leicester

University of Leicester, Lancaster Rd, Leicester LE1 7HA

7.30pm | £10 (£5 concs) | 0116 252 2455

Please visit website for info on BSL interpreted, audio described and touch tours

29 Mar Creation Space, Basingstoke

Council Road, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 3DH

7.30pm | £5

30 Mar Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield

Queen St, Huddersfield HD1 2SP

8.30pm | £12 (£8 U26s) | 01484 430 528

17 – 21 April Camden People’s Theatre, London

58 – 60 Hampstead Road, London, NW1 2PY

7.15pm | £12 (£10 concs) | 020 7419 4841

Commissioned and supported by Unlimited, celebrating the work of disabled artists, with funding from Arts Council England. Supported with funding from BlueSCI Wellbeing, Contact and Full Circle Arts.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.