Nic Green’s Trilogy is a three-part, three-hour long piece of participatory theatre that examines feminism and womanhood – what it means, where we’ve been, where we are and where we are going. It’s been ten years since it began development, and seven since it debuted at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2009, and it is still a rousing piece of theatre that invites women – and men – to band together and celebrate feminism.
The first part of Trilogy is an exploration of the female body in public space. It culminates in a nude group dance sequence involving dozens of women from the community who have given up their time to be a part of the season. It is a beautiful energy to feel on a stage – women of all ages, shapes and sizes dancing together with abandon. They are all power and joy and freedom, a celebration of womanhood that simple and joyful.
The second part centres around Town Bloody Hall, a feminist panel shot in 1971 in New York, featuring Germaine Greer, Jill Johnston, Diana Trilling and Jacqueline Ceballos, and chaired by Norman Mailer. It is compelling footage that prompts us to meditate on the wins and losses of feminism over the years. It is used as a jumping off point for an exploration of female stories and experiences which is
Part three is a part-lecture, part creative exploration of the relatively unknown history behind the anthem Jerusalem, a song that has had its roots in queer and feminist politics, but tends to provoke images of white colonialism and dinners at Eton. This culminates in an invitation for the female-identifying members of the audience to come onstage, take off their clothes and sing the anthem together to cap off the show.
Nic Green and Laura Bradshaw head all of this with grace and energy. Their generosity with their bodies, brains and feelings is touching and compelling. Trilogy explores a lot, and does so with a nice balance of politics and heart. The dance sequences are strong and interesting, and the performers share a lovely energy and commitment to the core of the show: a celebration of womanhood.
While Trilogy is primarily about joy, it is a show tinged with sadness. Things are not what first and second wave feminists thought they would be by now. The hate hurled at women across the world in various forms is hard and heartbreaking. Trilogy is a show that confronts this but also offers ideas about how we may overcome it.
In a time when women are being murdered by their partners at an alarming rate, the gender gap is at an all time high, and women are being persecuted across the world for the simple fact of their gender, Trilogy is a touching – if long – reprieve from the hate hurled at us from the rest of the world.