Interview: Georgie Morrell, A Poke in the Eye

Georgie Morrell is a writer, blogger and stand-up comedian. Next week she’s bringing her show A Poke in the Eye to Brighton following a successful run in Edinburgh and a transfer to London’s Soho Theatre. “The show is about one woman, one eye and her (sort of) blind life,” Georgie explains. “Being disabled is her excuse to do exactly what she wants, say what she wants and live her one eyed life as she wants.”

That one woman is Georgie herself, who wrote the show to share her experience of living with a visual impairment. “It’s scary to share my personal story, but that’s also part of the thrill!” she says. “You don’t know how an audience might react and it’s fun to play with that. However, I keep certain parts of personal life back, I make sure there are things just I know. It makes it less scary when I know something they don’t… I have a secret. To keep the balance because it is such a personal show I don’t discuss my private life, like relationships, love life etc. Got to keep some things private.”

Georgie’s been delighted with the public’s response to the show, which also received a 4-star review from LondonTheatre1. “It’s been terrific! All sorts of kind, funny and slightly mad feedback. A lot of people who come across my work that are visually impaired get in touch and often are grateful someone’s candidly talking about disability. This means the world to me to hear and makes all the hard work more than worthwhile!”

The aim of the show, Georgie explains, is to make people laugh, but also to come away with a greater knowledge of disability. “I want those in the audience who’ve not experienced disability, physical or sensory impairments to learn it doesn’t mean you are at a loss or vulnerable or should be pitied. I want them to see the individual not just a disability.”

And for those who are adapting to life with a disability, she has another message: “Just because you’re disabled does not mean you are any less of a person. Some people, but also systems in place for those of us with a disability, have a way of making us feel vulnerable and as if we are  missing something. Not at all! We experience the world in a remarkable way that must be shared, acknowledged and appreciated.

“Never be ashamed of your disability. Just because you are disabled does not mean you can’t be yourself and live your life as you want.”

It’s certainly not stopping Georgie, who has plenty going on. “I’m a blogger for topical website The New Establishment and am taking my new show, The Morrell High Ground, to Underbelly at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I’m also an advocate for RNIB and International Glaucoma Association.”

As well as performing, Georgie has a couple of other goals in mind for her time in Brighton. “Going to the seaside and Sea World! And if I had to pick one show besides my own, I’d recommend Gemma Arrowsmith: Earthling at The Warren. It’s a character sketch show about the future of mankind.

“I love my show being in Brighton because it’s such a liberal, fun and mischievous town. My show is all these things but also with a gut punch. I think it will fit into Brighton’s way of thinking beautifully!”

Catch A Poke in the Eye at The Warren Studio 3 from 24th-26th May.

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