by Nic Green
Barbican Theatre Silk Street EC2Y 8DS To 23 January 2010.
Runs: 3hr Two intervals.
For details of Lancaster performance on 30 January see the review from BAC in reviewsgate’s Archive.
Review: Carole Woddis 22 January.
Inspirational naked truth.
A second viewing of Trilogy serves to confirm the revolutionary and visionary status of Nic Green’s wonderfully fresh reassertion of feminism.
On the vast canvas of the Barbican’s stage, Green’s coup de grace – the sight of a 100 naked women flinging caution to the wind – moves to another level. At the BAC performances last week, the effect was one of intimacy. On the Barbican stage, it acquires epic stature.
A stunning spectacle in itself, the presence of so many naked women, of course, says much more. Physical nudity is still one of western civilisation’s great taboos. Green’s central point is that the female body has been twisted and distorted by male domination of what constitutes the `right’ shape. Women have therefore become uncomfortable about the natural state of their bodies and become divorced from their true selves.
Not a new idea, the brilliance of Green’s approach is to argue this proposition with playfulness, humour, honesty, intelligence and a philosophical dimension.
Mixing text, movement, video film (of the infamous New York encounter in 1971 between Norman Mailer and a quartet of feminist speakers and academics including Germaine Greer) and a certain improvised, though clearly carefully choreographed quality, Green with her talented partner, Laura Bradshaw take us on a diverting, sometimes poignant, tender journey of self-discovery that proves inclusively inspirational.
For the fascinating thing about Trilogy is that in its joyous female exploration it expands to encompass men as well.
Getting 100 women to strip is one thing. Audience members are also invited to do the same at the end. As the strains of Blake and Parry’s ‘Jerusalem’ ring out and as streams of women last night took the plunge from audience to Barbican stage to divest themselves of their inhibitions, the blow they struck was not only for their own but also the audience’s liberation.
Trilogy is a direct call to arms for women – there is a delicious moment when Laura’s mother transmits her own reignited 1970s feminism to us via linked telephone speaker. But it is equally a dialogue with men. In women’s liberation lies their own.
Cast: Nic Green, Laura Bradshaw, Louise Brodie, Murray Wason and Jodie Wilkinson.
Created by: Nic Green.
Design (Part Two): Susannah Henry.
Lighting: Will Potts.
Sound/AV: Guy Coletta.
Participant Coordinator: Sally Rose.
Trilogy premiered at BAC during the BURST Festival in 2009 following its development both at BAC and through Glasgow’s Arches Award for Stage Directors.