Didsbury Arts Festival

Didsbury Arts festival is a volunteer led multi arts festival celebrating creative culture in Didsbury, through working with local, national and international artists. 

We are a biennial festival. The next edition will take place from 22 June - 30 June 2019. The festival theme will be Roots. If you would like to join the 2019 team, please get in touch.

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Jackie 2


DAF welcomes comedian Jackie Hagan – the stump girl

Audiences at DAF 2015 will be treated to an evening of tears and laughter with Jackie Hagan, an outspoken and courageous comedian who has, despite being only 34 years of age, been through more than most of us in lifetime.

Two years ago, Jackie was rushed into hospital with an agonising big toe. Four months later she was discharged with her leg amputated. Doctors were not sure what happened. A huge cluster of blood clots formed suddenly in a main artery, due to a mystery spasm. Jackie says that she has now „embraced uncertainty and started to eat a bit more veg‟. Currently busy with her UK tour, Jackie draws from this experience but also adds observations of every-day life that anyone can relate to.

The Manchester-based comedian says her work is about optimism, coping with difficulty and loss. “I‟ve got a brilliant reaction from the audience; people say that the show is very funny even though it is quite a dark story. I guess I try to convey the idea that we can make our imperfections work for us and cope with whatever life throws at us.”

So it would be wrong to say that Jackie talks just about disability. Her solo shows, put together with puppets, special effects and a very glittery false leg that lights up, deal with all aspects of life. For DAF, Jackie will deliver a performance that is a slightly scaled down „bedroom version‟ of her stage show which requires four hours of preparation in terms of all the props!

The festival theme, "In between places‟ is reflected at many different levels. “In terms of art, I cannot be categorised easily. I now tend to say I am a theatre-maker. As a person I am disabled, but I do not feel it.”

Jackie has always been into performing arts as a performance poet and stand-up comedian. She struck lucky when she won a prestigious commission from the National Rural Touring Forum and Manchester‟s Contact Theatre in 2013 to create a solo show. This was literally weeks before being admitted to hospital. She is now also known for her "Celebrity stumps‟ – dressing up her stump as various celebrities. She takes advantage of her scar that looks like a mouth and draws around it. Her Twitter followers can then see the results online @jackiehagan and guess who it is – recent creations include Marilyn Monroe and Harry Potter!

“My stump is a weird shape – you know the blonde out of Birds of Feather? It looks like her miserable gob!” Jackie says.

Got the picture? We are not talking about your normal stand-up comedian here.. “I want real people in real places to feel really human. I want to cut through all the artifice of adulthood and talk frankly and funny. There‟s not enough time in life to bother with being precious about stuff.”

No wonder Jackie‟s UK tour is entitled Some People have too many legs.



Jackie Hagans show will take place on 24/06/2015, 8pm, Didsbury Baptist Church, School Lane/Beaver Road.
Tickets £5 via website or on the door.

Feature by Laura Linkomies.
Image by Lee Baxter