Agnes Jagger


A work in progress

This is a window into the development of a new play by disabled writer Ruth Collett. Ruth worked with Nenagh Watson of Doo Cot and musician Sylvia Hallett to explore story-telling through puppetry, animation, music and projection. Welcome to a dip into that process.


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Agnes Jagger's Last Jig is a medieval adventure
story set during the Wars of the Roses.
Agnes Jagger is a packhorse woman and
visionary who works across the Pennines
between York and Lancaster.

Matilda is a court jester, a drag queen and is on the run
when she meets up with Agnes.
How can they work together when the choices each has
made, as disabled people in an unfriendly society,
rattles the other's cage?


Ruth says " I want to show how disabled people have survived and thrived through history. I am interested in the dynamic tension between flaunting and hiding difference as methods of claiming our place in sometimes hostile communities.
I want to make space to try new ways of making theatre and enjoy the way that Agnes Jagger's Last Jig brings historical content and new technology together.


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Stone warm from the sun. A skylark lifts, her song drops sudden into hot quiet. Looking up I see an answering shape caught in the haze. A shape that clicks in my bones. A shape I know was dreamed by men and women long ago. I almost understand, I can almost taste what it means. My mind blurs and drifts to let the knowing in. Bursts of light fly up my legs from the rock. I am quick. My hair whips and crackles. Laughing I soar above larksong through the shimmering veins of the land.



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I risk a look back, I can see the breath and sweat flying from the horses. There are six of them and only one of me on an old nag, half dead. Jack Bridge ahead. I can be horsemeat for the Duke of York or take a chance on Colden Water. Belle's hooves crack on the stone bridge as I slide off into grinding water. I lurch over a fall and am dumped in a swirl that goes into a race down the clough. Walls press the water deep and swift. . High above me a tower of stone. I smell smoke and sulphur. Ragged hordes push carts into the Hell Mouth. One drone sees me pass, picks up a rock and shies it . My hand goes up, I go under. I see the moon rising through water and think "I am a fish."

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