Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 11°C

Search

Comedian Sofie Hagen tackles her childhood demons

Comedian Sofie Hagen, visiting East Anglia as part of her Dead Baby Frog tour. Photo: Contributed

Comedian Sofie Hagen, visiting East Anglia as part of her Dead Baby Frog tour. Photo: Contributed

Archant

Sofie Hagen’s back and she’s angry. Perhaps for the very first time.

“Dead Baby Frog is very much about how I’m trying to reconnect with my anger because I was never allowed to feel it when I was a child,” says the multi comedy award winner.

“I’ve only been feeling angry for about a year now, so it’s still very new to me. I feel like a newborn when it comes to trying to navigate my own anger,” she laughs. “It definitely does help me connect with it because I have to be angry to do the show.”

Last November she headed home to confront the step-grandfather who helped raise her.

“It’s very personal, it’s not just rainbows and puppies - it’s dark. It’s a comedy show about emotional abuse so people need to be prepared for that. It’s also the most important show I’ve done for me, one I’ve needed to do since I was a child in a lot of ways and it’s about coming to terms with those demons I guess.”

Sofie adds she now has a need to speak and be loud all the time to make up for being basically silenced by this patriarchal figure for 10 years of her life,

“I know my grandfather wouldn’t want me to do this show, obviously. That’s kind of what I like, it is kind of his fault that I’ve become this person that needs to talk about this on a stage,” she laughs.

The idea was to tell him off. To tell him what he’d done was unacceptable. Sofie, who has graced TV screens and the airwaves around the world, teases things didn’t happen the way she thought they would.

“I ended up getting something out of it that I couldn’t in my wildest imagination think that I would get out of it,” says Sofie, who’s enjoying some family time back in Denmark when we speak.

“I feel there could be a parallel universe where I’m in Denmark all the time... My best friend has just had a baby and he keeps growing every time I see him. I feel like I’m missing out on a lot of stuff but at the same time I love having a career in the UK so I so think the balance is fine, I think I’m okay with it,” says Sophie, who spent half her time with her grandmother and step-grandfather growing up because her single mother was working a lot.

The experience affected her image of men. Something she only became aware of when she started dating aged 17-18.

“It’s a classic thing of a young girl who marries (somebody like) her father. You try to fix your childhood trauma through new experiences and find someone who resembles your tormentor. If you can fix him... I did that for a while and then the second I realised it was ‘oh s**t,” she laughs “it’s just another one.”

Coming to terms with a lot of things in therapy, a lot of people shared similar experiences with Sofie during the show’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival run. Given what’s happening to women’s and LFBT rights, has the show come at the right time?

“A big aspect of the show is about anger... I do a lot of activism work as well... you saw (alt-right leader) Richard Spencer who was punched in the face, that’s such a new step compared to good old peace, love and silent protests; holding hands and stuff.

“Now its just ‘oh that didn’t work, now all these systems have to almost meet the level of the Reich’. I want people to start being angry instead of having to focus on how sad the whole thing is.”

Born in Denmark, based in the UK, she laughs off any repercussions of Brexit.

“I’m not the target. I’m an immigrant but people don’t see me as an immigrant, people see me as an expat because I’m white. I’m fully aware I wasn’t the person people wanted to leave the country. The repercussions are way worse for people of colour or people who look as if they might be Muslim, even though they’ve been in the country for generations even longer than I have.

“It’s tremendously sad because it does signify the rise of the right-wing. I hope I can stay, I know there’s a risk I might be thrown out, which would be devastating. At the same time, it doesn’t seem like anyone knows how to properly do this so it feels like we’ve been left in the hands of a bunch of monkeys,” she laughs.

Word of warning, if you don’t want Sofie to really lose it, don’t mention Westlife. She used the Irish boyband to talk about mental health and body image in her first show. Every time they tour or release new music, she gets a tweet.

“I was sad people would mention Westlife and not the fact that I was talking about something that was quite important. I was a massive Westlife fan. Last year I was tired of people mentioning them all the time but I do mention that phase again in my new shows I’m kind of laughing about it, for now...”

• See Dead Baby Frog at Norwich Arts Centre tonight, Cambridge Junction December 16 and Colchester Arts Centre January 19.

The count down to Christmas has begun, with residents across Suffolk preparing for various Christmas lights switch on events.

He lasted three days in the jungle - but should Jack Maynard have been judged for remarks he made five years ago and has apologised for?

One evening in 1956, four music legends gathered at Sun Records in Memphis for an impromptu but historic jam session and the story of that night is rockin’ the Regent this week as hit musical Million Dollar Quartet comes to town.

This Friday, November 24, is the day some bargain hunters wait all year for - Black Friday. We asked people in Ipswich what they thought of the discount day.

The Great British Bake Off, Miranda Hart and Kirstie Allsopp lead Channel 4’s festive programming this year

Great British Bake Off withdrawal symptoms? Fear not: there are two festive editions coming to a small screen near you soon on Channel 4

Grab some friends, head to your local cinema and enjoy one of these great films.

Does the cult teenage angst classic Dawson’s Creek stand up to re-watching 20 years after it first aired?

Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley’s impromptu jam session at Sun Records in 1956 was a seminal moment for rock and roll. It inspired the Tony award-winning Broadway and West End smash Million Dollar Quartet, in Ipswich this week. We spoke to its star Martin Kemp.

MasterChef’s Gregg Wallace will serve up some behind the scenes stories and more when he visits Ipswich Corn Exchange next year.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24