The Age Performances of Peggy Shaw: Intersection, Interoception and Interruption



This chapter argues that contemporary performance can trouble normative scripts of ageing femininity and examines the work of veteran performer Peggy Shaw, particularly her performances A Menopausal Gentleman (1998), Must: The Inside Story (2009) and Ruff (2013), in order to illuminate the ways that Shaw disrupts the specific identity position of “old woman” and offers a multifaceted performance of the old, female body. The chapter engages concepts of “intersection” (Crenshaw 1988), and “interoception” (Leder in The Absent Body 1990) in order to analyse Shaw’s subversion of behavioural scripts to which the aged female body is subject. It also examines how interruption, as a strategy employed in Ruff, negotiates the cognitive, material and professional status of Shaw’s post-stroke body, and produces an explicitly fragile age-performance.

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  1. Ageing Skin, condition of. Accessed 6 Aug 2014.
  2. Happy Days (The Fonz). Accessed 30 May 2016.
  3. Lois Weaver’s Queen Mary University of London Staff Profile. Accessed 30 May 2016.
  4. Musth, definition of. Accessed 6 Aug 2014.
  5. Peggy Shaw’s interview with Arthur Smith on BBC Radio 4 Loose Ends, (radio programme, online), 18:15 2 April 2016, BBC Radio 4, 47mins. Accessed 30 May 2016.


  1. Shaw, Peggy. Menopausal Gentleman. Video Recording Accessed 30 May 2016
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  3. Split Britches. Ruff. Performed by Peggy Shaw and directed by Lois Weaver. Contact Theatre, Manchester, Wednesday 28 May 2014. Produced by Split Britches.Google Scholar
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  1. Publicity flyer for the May 2014 Performance of Split Britches’ Ruff, at Contact Theatre, Manchester.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of HuddersfieldHuddersfieldEngland, UK

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