Nic Green's Trilogy, Battersea Arts Centre, London


Get ready for a nude awakening

Near the end of this wonderful show, two naked women confront filmed footage of themselves standing, naked, on a snowy hill in Scotland.

On screen, they sing "Jerusalem", the Blake poem that became a theme tune of the Suffragette movement and a mainstay of the Women's Institute. It says a lot for the ground-breaking originality of Nic Green's Trilogy and for its thought-provoking wit and warm sense of inclusiveness that it feels utterly natural our intrepid pair should risk frostbite in order to extol liberty in the buff in the great outdoors. The nakedness is joyous in its droll shedding of shame.

My definition of a true auteur has always been a writer/performer willing to appear naked as a crucial element in a personally signed but collaboratively devised show. One thinks of Simon McBurney in Mnemonic, Neil Bartlett in A Vision of Love Revealed in Sleep and Robert Lepage throughout his work. These figures tend to be men. Nic Green is all woman and she has re-colonised this masculine preserve with terrific flair and mischief. She prosecutes her argument in a way that is extended by a range of performance styles, from the cheerily combative banter of Victoria Wood to the movingly mannered, synchronised choreography of Pina Bausch.

When the show was performed at last year's Edinburgh Festival, the talking point was the section where a large group of women of all ages and shapes join in a dance of ever wilder abandon. This Dionysiac outburst is executed to pop music which gets ever faster and more physically challenging. But the large-spiritedness of Trilogy made a bigger impression on me. Men are included, in the shape of a youngish guy who is the exact contemporary of the female creators of the piece – they were all born in 1982 or 1983. He represents the kind of man whom feminism has educated but who needs to be forever on his guard against complacency. This we learn during one of the stylised, rhythmically intoned group-questioning sessions that let so much speculative air into the show.

Naked too, he is also used as a pointed contrast to Norman Mailer. The piece was partly inspired by the famous 1971 debate in New York's Town Hall in which Mailer took on leading feminists, including Germaine Greer, and lost heavily, exposing himself as a control-freak fazed by the hilariously unorthodox tactics of the great lesbian author Jill Johnston. We see footage of this debate and it is counterpointed by group dancing that obliquely expresses imaginative dissent.

Nic Green's Trilogy is creatively preoccupied by the history of feminism and the areas it has never reached. There is an appalling still of a woman buried to the waste, awaiting death by stoning. Movingly, one woman has a live phone conversation with her mother about the latter's latter-day liberation.

A website has been set up where you can "make your own herstory". One tip is this. Unearth from historical neglect an under-celebrated woman. Then find a public statue of some patriarchal male and customise it with homemade bits and bobs into a camp iconic tribute to the woman. Readers may like to suggest candidates and relevant statuary.

Fri and Sat (

Arts and Entertainment
Beyonce, Boris Johnson, Putin, Nigel Farage, Russell Brand and Andy Murray all get the Spitting Image treatment from Newzoids
tvReview: The sketches need to be very short and very sharp as puppets are not intrinsically funny
Arts and Entertainment
Despite the controversy it caused, Mile Cyrus' 'Wrecking Ball' video won multiple awards
musicPoll reveals over 70% of the British public believe sexually explicit music videos should get ratings
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister and Ian Beattie as Meryn Trant in the fifth season of Game of Thrones

Arts and Entertainment

book review
Arts and Entertainment
It's all in the genes: John Simm working in tandem with David Threlfall in 'Code of a Killer'

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Far Right and Proud: Reggies Yates' Extreme Russia

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West was mobbed in Armenia after jumping into a lake

Arts and Entertainment
The show suffers from its own appeal, being so good as to create an appetite in its viewers that is difficult to sate in a ten episode series

Game of Thrones reviewFirst look at season five contains some spoilers
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench and Kevin Spacey on the Red Carpet for 2015's Olivier Awards

Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awards

Arts and Entertainment
Proving his metal: Ross Poldark (played by Aidan Turner in the BBC series) epitomises the risk-taking spirit of 18th-century mine owners

Poldark review
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne is reportedly favourite to play Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars in dystopian action thriller Mad Max: Fury Road

Arts and Entertainment
Josh, 22, made his first million from the game MinoMonsters

Grace Dent

Channel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Disgraced Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson
Arts and Entertainment
Game face: Zoë Kravitz, Bruce Greenwood and Ethan Hawke in ‘Good Kill’

film review

Arts and Entertainment
Living like there’s no tomorrow: Jon Hamm as Don Draper in the final season of ‘Mad Men’

TV review

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
    Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

    UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

    Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
    John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

    ‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

    Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
    Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

    Let the propaganda wars begin - again

    'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

    Japan's incredible long-distance runners

    Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
    Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

    Tom Drury: The quiet American

    His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
    Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

    Beige to the future

    Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

    Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

    More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
    Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

    Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

    The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own