The Hackney Empire has a knack of showcasing interesting and provocative plays, the current version of "LULU" by Benjamin Frank Wedekind being no exception.
Too scandalous to stage when it was originally written, "LULU" is a cruel and erotic tale of a woman who uses sex as a means of survival and who ultimately meets her end on Jack the Ripper's bloody blade.
Wedekind was the founder of German Expressionist Drama, a lover of Parisian clowns and cabaret and this production draws seductively on these inspirations.
The director, Rachel Snider invites us into a world of life-sized toy theatre, predatory male specimens, giant animal tamers and an angelic voiced jazz performer(Wendy Bevan). All are whirled together in an outrageous visual orgy and expertly conducted by a live sextet caberet band. The tale of sexual inhibition and visual abandon combine to leave the audience gasping for breath.
If you are drawn to the world of expressionist pantomine and relish a quickening of the pulse, a evening carriage to the Hackney Empire is a must.
"LULU" by Benjamin Frank Wedekind, directed by Rachel Snider is at the Hackney Empire until 24th October
All photographs By Wendy Bevan
Edited by MLVH - 13 Oct 2009 at 8:02pm