'I am not a normal person'

Freedom from Torture's development fundraiser Noreen McKeever reports on the success of our Refugee Week celebration 'I am not a normal person' at our North London centre, featuring Write to Life's performance of Souvenirs and people's poet John Hegley.

Who is a 'normal person' anyway - but I hugely enjoyed the Write to Life and John Hegley event last night. A packed audience at Freedom from Torture's North London centre was treated to an evening which was by turns incredibly moving, thought provoking and riotously funny. The image of a crowd of people mimicking the wing patterns of the guillemot will stay with me quite a while!

The Souvenirs short piece of verbatim theatre, performed by survivors who have lived the script themselves formed the first half of the evening and was greeted with rapturous applause.

After a brief interval, during which a rare sunny evening allowed audience members to enjoy a glass of wine in the garden, the poet and performer John Hegley read poems and sang songs, some accompanied by his friend Jane Ireland on the ukulele. John had never visited Freedom from Torture before and movingly said that he was proud to live on an island in which an organisation like ours existed.

Supporters in the audience included Lord & Baroness Kinnock, who enjoyed themselves hugely and were briefly interviewed.

A huge thank you to the North London Group for all their hard work in organising this event, to the clients for performing and writing so wonderfully and to the master of the human condition, John Hegley.