Trilogy is not an easy piece to digest. It is however the most liberating and exhilarating piece I have ever witnessed in my life.
As a man watching a piece about women and feminism I struggle to have the depth and understand that I should. As a gay man however, I understand the struggling against the freedom of who you are and the under appreciation you can get for being that person. I understand the feeling of being lost in a wave of oppression and feeling as if I don’t belong – no identity. This I guess, became my appreciation for Trilogy, that whilst I am not a woman, I have an understanding of what the piece stands for.
Trilogy is a post-modern, feminist, part dance, part video, part physical theatre, part audience participation, part liberation movement for woman. It’s a lot to throw into a single piece, especially over two hours, yet somehow Nic Green as director has done so in such a manner that the piece slips through the three parts (hence the title Trilogy) effortlessly.
What makes Trilogy so special, or rather what makes it so inspiring – so talked about, has to be the nudity. There is no way of avoiding it. It’s used in not a shock factor, nor a sexual expression of freedom, it is used in its purest form, that underneath all the clothes we are all the same – all naked, all women. (Unless of course, you are a man, then you are a naked man)
The Barbican stage is full of woman, all shapes and sizes, all naked, all moving in synchronised movement. There are bits and pieces bouncing up and down, there are woman screaming with joy and chanting. There are around 100-120 women bearing all – it is a sight that I will never witness again, but for those 7 minutes – I am in a state of shock. This is crazy, I tell myself. I can’t quite believe it… the Barbican stage is literally a mass of moving naked bodies.
End of Part One.
The audience erupts into spontaneous laughter and discussion – there is an energy in the theatre which I’ve never felt before. A sense of unison in saying that we just saw something that is mind blowing.
The rest of Trilogy combines a mixture of dance movements, with video projects from a feminist discussion back in the 60’s – to directly addressing the audience and challenging them to create their own female stories, or rather herstories. It’s clear that whilst this piece is about standing up and believing in being who you are, it is also clearly not a protest or overhauling what is in place – it is about expressing a desire for women to be shown more, to be appreciated more.
Trilogy is funny, witty, clever and has a heart felt message.
Possibly one of the most important things I take from Trilogy is the impact it had upon the audience. The ending of the show culminates in Green inviting members of the audience (female only) to come up onto the stage and bare all whilst we all sing Jerusalem. On the night I was there some 50 audiences members, maybe more, bounded up to the stage to take part.
These aren’t company members, they aren’t friends or family members of the cast – these are real women, who feel overwhelmed by the performance. They too become part of the story.
Have I ever seen a performance that has empowered the audience so much that they felt compelled to get naked in front of a huge auditorium on a sold out night? No. Will I ever see a performance like this again? I doubt it. – So let’s celebrate with what Trilogy does.
It gives hope, it gives excitement, freedom, liberation, and most of all, it gives a thoroughly entertaining night.
Never has a standing ovation been so justified.
Trilogy is now on tour around the UK, be sure to look out for it. This performance was part of the Barbican’s Bite 10.