23 - 30 Nov 2015
The Tiger Lillies’ genre-defying brand of other-worldly vocals and unnerving performance style have carved them a unique niche in the cabaret and music theatre scene. After a sell-out run of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner at the Southbank Centre, the cult creators of the award-winning Shockheaded Peter now stage another adaptation of a macabre classic.
The character of Lulu is one of the great creations of 20th Century fiction, and one of its most disturbing. Her unbridled sex appeal, her youth, and her self-destructiveness combine to make her dangerous, unpredictable and tragic. With the men (and the women) who circle her, Lulu’s journey from street prostitute to the toast of Society and back again, is told as a hypnotic and kaleidoscopic dance of death. Journey with her from Berlin to Paris and finally to the dark London streets of Jack The Ripper.
The band’s flamboyant live performance is enhanced by large-scale virtual sets that create an immersive and richly atmospheric environment. Across 20 songs and interludes, the ballad of Lulu unfolds as an uncompromising musical and visual melodrama.
Age advisory 16+
Opera North gratefully acknowledges financial support from PRS for Music Foundation for Lulu: A Murder Ballad
Jacques’ trademark falsetto, mournful accordion and tinkling grand piano are accompanied by the brilliant Adrian Stout on contra bass, Theremin and musical saw and the equally outstanding Mike Pickering on percussion, who together create the most haunting and hypnotic of soundtracks with the sparsest resources.
morally provocative, intriguingly two-edged. A startlingly alternative commission
Jacques’s startling voice, falsetto when singing, deeper and dirtier when narrating, dominates a show built around 20 songs as rich with detail, observation and blood as Nick Cave’s murder ballads, performed on accordion, devastatingly beautiful piano and ukulele by Jacques with Adrian Stout on musical saw and theremin and Mike Pickering on percussion and toys that sound like a knife being sharpened.
The varied medium of music used within this performance is fascinating and entirely entertaining.
Jacques, as always, compels attention, but the eye is constantly drawn to the brilliant designs of Mark Holthusen, always on the move, often lop-sided, drifting in and out to provide a pictorial link to Lulu's travels or an atmospheric commentary on her situation.
Royal Opera House
Box Office: 01273 709709
Opera North Projects, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Warwick Arts Centre present Lulu - A Murder Ballad
Written by Martyn Jacques.
Directed and Designed by Mark Holthusen.
Performed by The Tiger Lillies and Laura Caldow. Based on Frank Wedekind’s plays, Earth Spirit (1895) and Pandora’s Box (1904)
Commissioned by Opera North Projects