T r i l o g y
A B O U T
About This Website
Created and Directed by Nic Green
Developed, commissioned and presented by Battersea Arts Centre and The Arches with support from Made In Scotland and HaB Arts. Revived by The Barbican
Devised and Performed by Laura Bradshaw, Murray Wason, Louise Brodie and Jodie Wilkinson
Designed by Susannnah Henry (Part Two)
Lighting Design by Will Potts
Presented at The Arches at St Stephens as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival; Battersea Arts Centre; The Barbican; Dublin Fringe Festival; Belfast Festival at Queens; LICA; Bristol Mayfest; and Glasgow IETM
Trilogy received The Arches Award for Theatre Directors, a Herald Angel, a Dublin Fringe Award and received a nomination for a Total Theatre Award.
Nic Green’s Trilogy is a celebratory venture into the complexities of modern-day feminisms, interrogating the joys and complexities of being a woman today. Designed to challenge prevailing attitudes, this participatory performance work makes bold use of narrative, debate, dance and song. Moving from a courageous investigation of the relationship modern women have with their bodies, to a poignant and moving response to the fierce 1970s panel discussion Town Bloody Hall (featuring Germaine Greer, Jill Johnston, Norman Mailer and others), Trilogy ends with a joyous, vibrant paean to womankind. Green and her company deliver an evening of tireless, raw energy in this inspiring, adventurous performance event.
Performed by Nic Green and Laura Bradshaw
‘Part One’ of Trilogy is a fifteen-minute introductory performance which begins with a recital of quotations form Germaine Greer’s The Female Eunuch (1970), delivered by Nic Green and Laura Bradshaw, and ends with a large-scale, energetic, ensemble choreography, performed without clothes, by local female volunteers.
The performance itself aims to manifest as a celebration of variety and difference amongst female forms and to demonstrate a unity in diversity.
This part of the Trilogy project facilitates the creation of a local community of women who, through a process led by the artist, are invited to engage in relevant issues and ideas surrounding their position as women. The performance showcases the ritualised result of a collective process through which women both young and old of all sizes, shapes, ethnicity and backgrounds, have reflected on such positions and their relationships to one another.
This part acts as an uplifting and bold statement, a rally, a protest. It is a kind of homage, a tribute to women-kind, empowered in their own skins, celebrating the very nature of who they are and their inherent differences.
Performed by Nic Green, Laura Bradshaw, Murray Wason, Louise Brodie, Jodie Wilkinson.
‘Part Two’ is an hour-long, performative response to the the 1971 feminist panel discussion Town Bloody Hall (Hegedus and Pennebaker); a landmark debate on feminism and women’s liberation.
Using this historic document the five performers reflect on their current positions as young women and man. The performance eventually focuses on aspects of being (as opposed to saying or thinking), and ends with an extended choreographic sequence which seems to both invoke the foremothers seen in the video and attempt to jolt the performers/audience into the present moment. It is a ritualistic space between past and present which holds the projections and possibilities of the past along with the actuality and responsibilities of the present. The piece ends when a lengthy choreographic sequence is completed by five volunteers from the audience, all older than the cast, in a moment of passing on, passing by or passing over.
Performed by Nic Green, Laura Bradshaw and Janice Bradshaw
Part Three is a performative presentation on the web-based project, www.makeyourownherstory.org.
Taking on a terminology coined in the late 1960’s as part of a feminist critique of conventional historiography, the project itself is an interactive webspace in which users are invited to respond to creative chapters.
Part three makes comparisons between feminist movements of the past and that of the present and heavily reflects on the Suffragettes and their (reasonably unknown) use of the song ‘Jerusalem.’ The piece ends with the audience being invited to sing the song to close the event following a provocation made by Nic Green and Laura Bradshaw in the form of a video of them both singing Jerusalem naked on a snowy hillside. It also features a womanifesto read live over the phone by Janice Bradshaw (Laura’s mother).
For a further synopsis and background on the project please see an interview given to Ideas Tap, which can be found here.
Trilogy in Context
Creating this website has served as a welcome
invitation to re-read the various articles,
blog posts, and public comment written about
Trilogy during the time of its presentation.
Much of the published discussion was often
triggered by the fact the project declares itself
as overtly and joyfully feminist in politic and
inquiry, in a climate where the various notions
of post-feminism allowed attempts of modern
feminist inquiry or politic to be perceived as
‘past’ (Tasker & Negra: 2007:1) or out of date
(Faludi:1991). In many cases post-feminism takes
its form as a backlash against (second-wave)
Feminism. (Whelehan 2000; McRobbie 2004)
In this sense Trilogy is/was a reaction to a culture
of ‘post’ or ‘anti’ feminist thought, ingrained
in a growing neo-liberalist paradigm.
An indication of the work's position in this context can
be recognised in articles and reviews titled in ways such as:
"Trilogy: Feminism in 'Relevant Again' Shocker" (Aug 2009, The List)
Such headlines bring me to reflect upon and question
the role this project may have played with relevance
to a more widespread relationship and engagement with
feminism in the early naughties.
How did Trilogy provide insight into how we might
further include feminism and feminist ideas in
popular debate and culture?
The world of feminism certainly feels different now,
even just a few years down the line. Since
performing Trilogy for the final time we have
seen Pussy Riot, The Everyday Sexism Project,
Femen, the launch of The Feminist Times...all
addressing ideas of feminism and women's freedom
and equality in a kaleidoscope of differing guises.
In 2001 I moved to Scotland to study Contemporary Performance Practice at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. I continue to have a relationship with this institution through my research and my work in the development of new work in the fields of New Performance and Live Art.
Last year I was invited by them to gather and present a Performance as Research output in the case of Trilogy for submission to REF 2014. This website is the form through which I am presenting this.
More recently, I returned to the Dublin Fringe Festival to present a new work. Whist visiting I was lucky enough to meet some of the the women who had participated in 'Part One' of Trilogy some years before who still, after this time remain close and lasting friends. Naturally this website fails to account for such traces and legacies which lie outside of the eternalised digital sphere. Evidence of the work’s impact presented here simply can and does not capture vestiges in the form of memory or reaction held by the women who participated, or the audiences who attended. However, by observing the thoughts and debate articulated by the many journalists, artists, thinkers and participants whose words and ideas I have gathered here, what is created instead is a 'holding space' for the traces of this artwork which linger in the digital realm. Although gathering these elements by no means documents the impact of the project exhaustively, I believe this partial archive gives insight into any significance the project may have had during the period of presentation.
You will see the collection is separated via the navigation bar. Under 'links' you will find a diversity of writings on Trilogy, from academic writing to critical reviews to intimate blog posts. You can also browse images taken from the performance, audio interviews and the sister web project Make Your Own Herstory. There is a full-length video of the performance itself available on agreement to the terms of viewing.
Please enjoy browsing the website and do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or comments,
Many thanks for reading,
About the Artist
Since 2005, work under the artistic direction of Nic Green has continued to demonstrate her exceptional ability as one of Britain’s unique and exciting young artists. Her broad and comprehensive practice spans award-winning dance/theatre performance, varied community and public art projects, research-based pedagogical and holistic learning experiences, interactive web-based projects and musical/audio composition.
As a practitioner Nic works across forms, placing the practice of listening at the heart of her work. Her research focuses on the development of a reciprocal, relational approach when working with people, place, context or material. She remains committed to developing creative work which can be named as ecological in it’s nature, in the sense that her practice focuses on the study of relationships; the meaning and nature of which emerge through immersive, time and place-based processes. This work allows the narrative of selfhood to be re-placed as a mutually-dependent part of an interconnected, ecological paradigm (rather than central in an anthropocentric, disconnected one).
In 2010 Nic completed an MSc in Human Ecology for which she conducted an original study on the development and understanding of ecological performance practices. She has also completed the Natural Change Facilitators Course with Natural Change, and extensive study in Vedanta and Yogic Philosophy. Her work has been commissioned and presented both nationally and internationally to critical acclaim and she is best known for her award-winning Trilogy which received an estimated 1000 participants, receiving the Arches Award for Theatre Directors, a Dublin Fringe Festival Award and a Herald Angel.
Please see www.nicgreen.org.uk for more details on current projects.
Within the more radical end of the performance-making community* just this month I have also been heartened to see a Long Table discussion on Live Art and feminism at the Live Art Development Agency lead by the brilliant Lois Weaver and Calm Down Dear - a festival of new feminist performance at Camden People’s Theatre.
Comparing the current surge of new feminist performance with the atmosphere out of which Trilogy emerged, I wonder now if perhaps Trilogy may have been a small part of a burgeoning new wave of a more overtly feminist performance scene, seeking to (re)examine some of the issues facing women and men today.
But alas, although the voices of feminism may seem to grow louder, so too does the affliction of women both on our own soil and across the world due to their sex and/or gender. 2013 saw the culmination of the alarming Steubenville gang rape case, the woman abused and murdered in broad daylight on the bus in Delhi (another gang rape incident) and the tsunami of misogynist cyber-bullying Caroline Criado-Perez received whilst campaigning to see a woman’s image on our bank notes. Simultaneously, the phenomenon of the ‘Thigh Gap’ preoccupies the psyche of much of our young female community.
In this sense it is perhaps the perfect moment to reflect on the role and function of women artists and feminist artwork, (in this instance the Trilogy project) and so I welcome you to this website. This site aims to make conscious the cultural and political significance of the project in light of the socio-political climate it was born from, by gathering the writing and comment published at the time. I hope in understanding the agency of past work I may be guided in my future choices about how I contribute positively to future feminisms and feminist debate.
Faludi, Susan (1991) Backlash: The undeclared War Against American Women Vintage
McRobbie, A. (2004). Notes on 'What Not to Wear' and post-feminist symbolic
violence. Feminism after Bourdieu. L. Adkins and B. Skeggs. Oxford,
Blackwell/The Sociological review.
McRobbie, A. (2004). "Post feminism and popular culture." Feminist Media Studies
Tasker, Yvonne; Negra, Diane (2007) Interrogating Postfeminism: Gender and the Politics of Popular Culture Duke University Press
Whelehan, Imelda (2001) Overloaded: Popular Culture and the Future of Feminism Womens Press Ltd