CRIPtic Arts will be bringing Jamie Hale’s solo show, NOT DYING, to HOME Manchester on the 11th November. This is part of our long-standing collaboration with Kate O’Donnell and Trans Vegas.
Jamie Hale first drafted NOT DYING in 2018, when the Barbican Centre commissioned it through their Open Lab programme. There, Trans Creative’s Kate O’Donnell mentored Jamie. In 2019, Jamie first performed it at the Lyric Hammersmith. They then put it on at the Barbican Centre (directed by Kate O’Donnell), to rave reviews. This was as part of the inaugural CRIPtic Showcase – which is where they founded CRIPtic Arts.
About NOT DYING
When I started to write the show, it was in the face of mortality. I was very unwell and the future looked bleak. As I was writing it, new treatments became possible and I had to face the future as a disabled person. The show stopped being about dying and started being about what it took to live in the world. I wanted to confront disability head-on – talk about sex, and assisted suicide, what it means to fear death, and what it means to find joy.
The show began as a series of poems, and slowly I added monologue and comedy, fusing together a piece that embodied me. After developing it at Open Lab and sharing it at the Lyric Hammersmith, putting it on at the Barbican Centre in 2020 directed by Kate was a dream – and I won the Theatremaker of the Year award in 2021 for it, through the Evening Standard Future Theatre Fund awards.
With the pandemic, I took the show back to script, and started to rewrite it – trying to move it from being a fused set of forms into a play. I didn’t want to lose the poetic language, but I wanted it to be less disjointed. I received Arts Council England funding for a two week R&D process, where I worked with the incredible Athena Stevens as director, and the piece has been completely reimagined.
We tried to centre access – with a version of the show that is bilingual – performed simultaneously in English by me and British Sign Language by DL Williams (who also translated it). From the beginning we put audio-description into the script, and we’re working on creative captions.
I am so excited to take this to HOME Manchester – and (even better) am looking for three other artists who are trans and deaf or disabled to join me, each performing a 10-15 minute set, which is rehearsed and ready for the stage. You can find out more about that here, or read the call-out here.
If you think that could be you – get in touch, because I can’t wait to work togetherJamie Hale