RUFF

Written and performed by Peggy Shaw, Directed by Lois Weaver (AKA Split Britches) 

Developed and Produced by In Company Collective

RUFF challenges typical modes of performance, exploring how to create work post stroke as an older person. Structured through a theoretical public service announcement, the performance experiments with form, methods of care, visibility of "failure", and baring of device.

Supported by the Wellcome Trust and Arts Council England


Peggy Shaw was the 2014 recipient of the Doris Duke Artist Award and is a 2016 USA Artist Fellow. She has received two NYFA Fellowships and three OBIE Awards. She was the recipient of the 1995 Anderson Foundation Stonewall Award and The Foundation for Contemporary Performance Theatre Performer of the Year Award in 2005.

Press / US

RUFF was a New York Times Critic's Pick when it premiered in 2013

The Lo-Down NY discusses being drawn into Peggy's brain during RUFF

Senior Planet interviewed Peggy about RUFF, growing older as a queer woman, and her new reliance on technology in her post-stroke reality

This is a 1 minute clip of Peggy performing a section of RUFF for The New York Times "In Performance" Video Series

The Front Row Center gives RUFF a 5 star review, “5-STARS...Brava, or should I say Bravo to Peggy Shaw, the butch lesbian Sean Penn look-alike for her solo show 'Ruff'”

Broadway World details the joint showing of RUFF with the Split Britches exhibition Desperate Archives, at La Mama in 2013 here, and again when RUFF showed at COIL Festival here

Feminist Spectator calls RUFF an elegiac story of nostalgia and loss, of mortality and survival

Benjamin Gillespie writes on Performing Dissonance for Theatre Journal

"RUFF successfully functions as an imaginative investigation of Shaw’s memory, exploring how her stroke caused a mental reshuffling of chronology", writes Sophie Kaufman for The Helix Queer Performance Network

Urban Excavations profiled RUFF and Split Britches' Desperate Archives

"The great Peggy Shaw returns with an acclaimed solo show that celebrates creativity in the midst of aging and infirmity." - Andy Buck, Theater is Easy

Press / UK

Drama Queens Review recaps RUFF at the Chelsea Theatre in April 2013

"There’s power and poignancy in this tension. Shaw’s performance persona is so solid, so planted, so damn tough that it jars fruitfully to see her struggle to stay on her toes. It reminds us of the struggle that has always been under that solidity." - Not Television

For Exeunt Magazine, Brendan Macdonald reviews RUFF at the Barbican

Peggy was interviewed by The List to discuss who she is and her show RUFF

Mayfest interviewed Peggy for her showing at the Bristol Old Vic

Academic Kim Solga writes about what feminists do when things get RUFF in Performance Researchand in her personal blog The Activist Classroom

The Stage calls RUFF "defiant and honest"

RUFF is referenced in Performance and the Medical Body, a survey text edited by Alex Mermikides and Gianna Bouchard, and Theatre and Feminism, a survey text by Kim Solga

Connor Campbell gave RUFF 5 stars for The Upcoming

Peggy talks to Arthur Smith on BBC's Loose Ends

The use of green screens in RUFF was taken as a primary case study in this research paper exploring the aestheticized use of chroma-key techniques and technologies


International Press

RUFF played as part of the Tangled Festival of Art & Disability at Daniels Spectrum in Toronto, and was reviewed by Mooney on Theatre


LIVE AUDIENCE REACH TO DATE  - 

Performances to date have taken place at - 

FOLKESTONE NORMAL? FESTIVAL, Folkestone UK

BARBICAN CENTRE, London



What Our Audiences are Saying

It was everything you could ever hope for from a performance piece or any work of art — it was vulnerable, honest, magical, surprising, moving, full of an unfamiliar perspective that shows you another way of looking at the world, joyful, sad, well-crafted.
— Alexis Clements on Hyperallergic