From the brutal bitterness of facing one’s own mortality to the imperative to live beyond mere survival, Jamie Hale’s first solo show NOT DYING is a tour-de-force of emotion, power, and resilience, and forms the first half of CRIPtic. It was first directed by Kate O’Donnell.
In NOT DYING, Hale recounts their full-circle story of progressive disability – from the agony and gracelessness of imminent death to the jubilance and defiance of survival. Developed through the Barbican’s Open Lab programme before forming the heart of Hale’s first disability arts showcase, CRIPtic, the show was conceived as Hale underwent experimental medical treatment. Determined to confront and dismantle barriers often encountered by disabled people, this thought-provoking piece intertwines video and narrative.
Jamie Hale is a queer part-human part-cyborg poet/performer whose creative work narrates the agency and urgency of living as a disabled person in the world. They explore the intimate connections between the medicalisation of illness and mortality, and the social and political implications of disability. They have recently performed poetry at the Tate Modern and the Lyric Theatre and were one of the winners of the London Writers’ Awards for Poetry 2018.
Kate O’Donnell is an award-winning transgender performer, activist, theatre and cabaret maker. In 2016 she founded Trans Creative, a trans theatre company and curated Trans Vegas in which 50 trans voices were heard and was part of the Manchester International Festival opening event ‘What is The City but the people?’. Other credits include: Feste in Twelfth Night (The Royal Exchange) Boy Meets Girl (BBC), and Hush (LIFT Festival/The Royal Exchange).
Work from this show was described as “writing of exquisite delicacy and linguistic precision” where Jamie’s “sensitivity to the use and abuse of language stands out as exceptional” (playstosee.com).