Edinburgh Fringe

Say If It's Not Okay

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Most tickets cost £12. To book visit the official Fringe website or contact the venue:


236: Greenside @ Infirmary Street
Room: Olive Studio

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Darkly comedic one-woman show about our natural inclination to go with the flow. If you've ever agreed to do something you're supremely unqualified to do, or looked across the table at someone and wondered why the hell they're still in your life, it probably started with your unwillingness to Say If It's Not Okay. Following a year of psychotherapy, award-winning writer Angela Jackson is now supremely qualified to reflect on the havoc caused by her own reluctance to speak out. 'Dry northern wit... Comic genius... A brilliant storyteller... Life-affirming warmth and generosity of spirit' (EdinburghFestival.org).

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The premise

Angela Jackson imagines a conversation between herself and her dead mother in this poignant and often hilarious one-woman show. They catch up on lost time, covering everything from what exactly constitutes a proper salad and the price of international magazine subscription rates, to the perils of driving at night without glasses. No longer a victim of domestic violence, Angela's mum is transformed into a self-possessed and witty tour de force in this moving portrait of an enduring mother daughter relationship.

More details

A few weeks after Angela Jackson's seventh birthday, her mum died. It was a languid, hot summer. The middle of the school holidays. One day, Angela was practising cartwheels with her friends on the patch of grass outside her house. The next, she was, effectively, muted. Stilled.

Angela Jackson

As a child who thrived on facts and clear information, the local vicar's muddled story about how her mum was "an angel now" made no sense to her. And questions to the adults in her life were invariably met with sobs. So she stopped asking. Stopped talking. And this has been her go-to strategy ever since.

At the first sign of trouble, she has resorted to clamming up. She tells nobody about the ensuing horrors of her childhood; she silently endures extreme workplace practices that almost lead to a miscarriage and end in the premature delivery of her baby; she allows herself to be publicly humiliated at a book festival where she wins a prestigious international award; she scrabbles to deliver a university course she soon realises she's unqualified to teach. She is silently drowning. Finally, she admits she needs help.

After a year of psychotherapy, she now understands herself better, and is more able to speak out. So, naturally, she's written a one-woman show about it. This moving, visceral and laugh-out-loud show, featuring beyond the grave insights from philosopher Epictetus and recipe tips from Nora Ephron, explores Angela's psychological journey to better mental health via an imaginary conversation with the ghost of her mum and other key characters from her life.

It is, at its heart, a resounding and heartfelt rally cry to anyone who's ever felt like they weren't good enough or has hesitated to stand up to bullies, elitists, predators, terrible exes and rogue hairdressers.

About Angela Jackson

Angela Jackson is a former psychology lecturer, an award-winning writer, and tutor in Creative Writing for Open College of the Arts. She lives and works in Edinburgh.


Date Time Venue
15th Aug 19:55 Greenside @ Infirmary Street (Olive Studio)
16th Aug 19:55 Greenside @ Infirmary Street (Olive Studio)
17th Aug 19:55 Greenside @ Infirmary Street (Olive Studio)
18th Aug 19:55 Greenside @ Infirmary Street (Olive Studio)
19th Aug 19:55 Greenside @ Infirmary Street (Olive Studio)
20th Aug 19:55 Greenside @ Infirmary Street (Olive Studio)
22nd Aug 19:55 Greenside @ Infirmary Street (Olive Studio)
23rd Aug 19:55 Greenside @ Infirmary Street (Olive Studio)
24th Aug 19:55 Greenside @ Infirmary Street (Olive Studio)
25th Aug 19:55 Greenside @ Infirmary Street (Olive Studio)
26th Aug 19:55 Greenside @ Infirmary Street (Olive Studio)
27th Aug 19:55 Greenside @ Infirmary Street (Olive Studio)

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