Humanity Hallows Issue 4 Out Now!
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By Pierangelly Del Rio
In 2013, comedian and poet Jackie Hagan was commissioned to write a solo show. However, in the following month, she was admitted to the hospital due to an extremely painful foot. A cluster of clots in her leg’s main artery required urgent treatment and, consequently, amputation.
This experience inspired Jackie to change the show’s original idea, adulthood, and transform it into what today is Some People Have Too Many Legs. The play, described by its creator as “an amputee comedy,” seeks to undercut disability taboos with smart, creative wit.
Jackie performed last week in Manchester as a part of the 2016’s Women in Comedy Festival. In the Frog and Bucket’s stage, the comedian started her show sitting in a wheelchair, in what resembled a hospital’s ward. She performed the story of her time under medical care, narrating how she coped with her mysterious disease and the journey towards recovery.
“I keep getting called brave every five minutes, for eating a Twix, for going to the shop, and it’s sort of patronizing.” She exposes, in a series of gleeful and awkward anecdotes, how people reacted to her prosthetic leg. “Taxi drivers look at me and tell me ‘you can be a Paralympian.'”
However, not everything was laughter; she also narrated her struggles accepting her amputation and personal losses experienced in her youth.
During the performance, Jackie invites the public to get involved in the show. She takes her prosthetic off showing the audience her slump, which “healed weird” and has a scar that resembles an open mouth. On it, Jackie draws faces of famous people, such as the likes of David Bowie and Marylin Monroe, and invites the public to guess who they are.
Overall, Some People Have Too Many Legs is a unique, powerful play, full of glitter and cleverness that will make the public rethink about the ways society approaches disability.