Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Review: Trilogy, Waterfront Studio, Belfast

Three is a magic number as Trilogy grabs the heart

Big ones, small ones, fat ones, thin ones — there were women of every shape and size at the Waterfront Studio — many of them on stage, naked, dancing.

They give themselves over to the music, jumping and jiggling, beautiful in their un-selfconsciousness.

From the start, Nic Green’s Trilogy grabs us by the heart and refuses to let go, while taking us through the emotional alphabet. We relearn how irrelevant our appearance really is — how what goes on inside matters so much more. This highly political piece of work reminds us of our debt to feminism — particularly the younger members of the audience, for whom it has become a dirty word. And it’s a reminder that the fight for equality is a long way from being won, and that liberation is a different battle altogether.

The first part of this exuberant evening looks at how we live with our bodies, which culminates in that joyous dance by dozens of naked women. Well, not all of them are naked. One is wearing glasses, another is leaning on a crutch. They’re all smiling.

The second section takes a step back in time to the 1971 Town Bloody Hall debate in New York about the women’s liberation movement — to the days when Germaine Greer was still fabulous, and Norman Mailer sexy.The cast moves around the stage as we watch part of the event: Mailer dismissing poet and feminist Jill Johnston; Greer describing how they are improper goddesses and unwilling menials.

We hear Greer’s speech about Mozart’s sister, in which she outlines the ego of male artists like Mailer. Check, mate.

Just as locusts lie dormant below the surface, only to emerge when conditions are right, Green and collaborator Laura Bradshaw aim to persuade us that now is the time to change the world through direct action. Naive? Perhaps. But it’s a start.

The final part of Trilogy is a difficult watch, with its bloody images of mutilation and murder.

But Green refuses to let the story end there, and sends us homewards, suffragette song in our hearts, feeling that the future is waiting for us to claim it.

Grania McFadden

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