Trilogy finished over a week ago now and it has taken me that long to write about it coherently enough to post here. I had a busy week catching up on real life, but I was also busy trying to unpack all my thoughts on Trilogy that have been stacked on top of each other inside my brain for the last week or so.
I volunteered for Trilogy for lots of reasons – I like being onstage, I wanted to challenge myself to be onstage naked and I wanted to be involved in this life-affirming feminist performance. It became about more than the performance though because so much of the experience happened off-stage. Our dance lasted less than 10 minutes each night but we had four three-hour rehearsals to prepare for it. These sessions were more than just dance rehearsals; they gave us an opportunity to get to know each other and to figure out what had drawn us to this project in the first place. It was a chance met other brave women and maybe find another way of looking at the world.
And it did change people. All week, when we sat down to talk about how we were feeling on that particular day, women talked about the revelations they had had since starting the process and the way it was changing how they saw the world. I didn’t feel changed. My biggest revelation was that I was surprised how easy it was to dance naked once you got over the initial shock.
Then on the Friday night, I saw the show and something shifted for me. I was really hyper after the performance, I wanted to talk to everyone about everything, I was excited and giddy.
Troligy is a very feminist play. Part One begins with some quotes from The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer and ends with that naked, celebratory dance by women who aren’t embarrassed or ashamed by their bodies or the ways they jiggle! Part Two is a reaction to Town Bloody Hall – a debate in 1971 between leading feminists and famous misogynist Norman Mailer. They play lots of clips from the recording of the debate and I loved the passion that was displayed by those women from long ago. What was going on onstage in the present was also wonderful. There was lots of beautiful movement sections, and some really moving monologues. The third part is an introduction to Make Your Own Herstory, a web-based project that is taking feminism into the future.
This wonderful feminist play made me feel that all my thoughts on feminism aren’t out-dated and out-of-step with the world around me, that there are other people who feel the same way, that are looking for a community and a way to move things forward. And that made me happy. At one point, my over-whelming thought was ‘I love theatre!’. It just bubbled up in me and made me grin. I felt happy to be there experiencing this wonderful work that these people had spent so much time and care into creating. I felt lucky to be there to see the work, and lucky to have experience working with the people onstage and be involved, in a very small way, in creating it.
The next day I felt like Trilogy had started me on some sort of journey. I’m not sure where it’s going to lead but I feel like it’s going to be more of a creative journey than a purely feminist one and I’m really interested to see where I end up.
My Trilogy experience wasn’t “life-changing” in some big, dramatic way, but I think that week did change me. Since then, throughout the last week, I have had moments when I feel like I can do anything I want with my life, that there’s nothing stopping me having the life I want. Nic talked about the play having an effect on those we saw it, and that it would go on to cause ripples in the wider community. I hope that’s true but I think for the women who took part, it will have a slightly bigger effect. I feel like Nic has lit a power-keg under each of us; we don’t know yet how long the fuse is or how much gun-powder is loaded but eventually there are going to be lots of explosions from all these wonderful women.
If you would like to experience it all yourself, and if you happen to be in Belfast, you can! Trilogy is on at the Waterfront as part of the Belfast Festival and they are looking for volunteers. More details here.