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 Agnes 

Agnes: A New Show in Development

Saint Agnes has lost control of her legacy. Join her on a time-travel revenge mission to reclaim her story and confront the man who took it from her.

 

Agnes of Rome was a 12-year-old girl who was executed in the 4th century after rejecting the sexual advances of grown men. She became a martyr and the patron saint of chastity, among other things. She inspired rituals in the 17th and 18th centuries to be performed by groups of women on the eve of her feast day. These rituals were supposed to reveal future husbands to the women in their dreams. Since the 19th century, however, her legacy has been obscured by that of John Keats’ poem, The Eve of Saint Agnes and the art it inspired, which put a distinctly voyeuristic and sexualised male gaze on a story from which Agnes was removed entirely.

 

Our show asks: what would happen if Agnes could travel through time and confront John Keats?

Research and Development

During a rigorous research and development process, we collated examples of myths, art and historical figures. Agnes’ story resonated with us the most because we were inspired by the ideas of artistic and historical legacy, forgotten stories and adaptation over time.

 

From these discussions, further ideas of time travel and revenge emerged, which resonated with our interests in staging the impossible, subverting story structure and looking at themes from new perspectives. Ultimately, we find her a compelling figure because, as a child, she had no control over the religious and cultural legacies that have been imposed upon her

Photos by Maiya Sabapathy-Andrews
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