'A much-loved vibrant voice': Tributes to 'inimitable' artist Jackie Hagan

-Credit: (Image: Jackie Hagan)
-Credit: (Image: Jackie Hagan)


Tributes are being paid to a talented, respected and award-winning playwright, poet and performer who has died.

Bosses at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester described Jackie Hagan as 'a much-loved vibrant voice' and said they were saddened by her passing.

Jackie, a Manchester-based artist, co-wrote the play Cosmic Scallies, which explored themes including class, friendship and absence and was set in Skelmersdale. It premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe before coming to Manchester.

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Theatre chiefs described Jackie, an amputee, as 'a tremendous, witty, charismatic, political and vital artist' who would be sadly missed.

The Royal Exchange posted details of her death on its X feed, formerly Twitter, on Monday. It's understood she was 43 and passed away after an illness. Jackie was a staunch advocate of spoken word performance and also supported LGBTQ charities in Manchester.

The theatre, based on St Ann's Square in the city centre, said: "We are deeply saddened by the passing of Manchester based artist, Jackie Hagan.

Jackie passed away aged 43 -Credit:Jackie Hagan
Jackie passed away aged 43 -Credit:Jackie Hagan

"Jackie wrote the brilliant Cosmic Scallies, which premiered at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017, and then here in our studio space. It was a co-commission between Graeae [the disabilities-led theatre company] and Royal Exchange Theatre."

The theatre went on to post a quote from her taken from Cosmic Scallies, reading: "We're cosmic scallies, we dance on the off-beat, we're wonky shopping trollies, we're forgotten and trod on, we're gravy-stained and p*ss-sodden, we're the breath between coughing fits."

The theatre's associate artist, Nickie Wildin, also paid tribute. She said: "Jackie was a tremendous, witty, charismatic, political and vital artist. Manchester has lost a much-loved vibrant voice."

Jackie also won acclaim for penning a poetic comedy called Some People Have Too Many Legs - a show she toured nationally and also brought to Manchester at the Contact Theatre on Oxford Road.

Manchester poet Tony Walsh said on X: "So very sad to hear that we've lost the inimitable Jackie Hagan.

"A truly unique, working-class poet, playwright, philosopher, performer, speaker, activist and so much more. Funny, wise and beautiful with disco balls of steel. Jumble-sail on, dear Jackie xx."