Opera North Projects

Lulu - A Murder Ballad

Opera North Projects, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Warwick Arts Centre present: 

Lulu - A Murder Ballad

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 Tiger Lillies' 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.

Written by Martyn Jacques. 
Directed and Designed by Mark Holthusen.
Performed by The Tiger Lillies and Laura Caldow. 
Commissioned by Opera North Projects

Based on Frank Wedekind’s plays, Earth Spirit (1895) and Pandora’s Box (1904)

Age advisory 16+

Opera North gratefully acknowledges financial support from PRS for Music Foundation for Lulu - A Murder Ballad


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.

Your reaction

‘Laura Caldow delivers a heartbreakingly tender dance performance as the tragic heroine [while The Tiger Lillies] create the most haunting and hypnotic of soundtracks with the sparsest resources’ (***** The Independent)

‘Morally provocative, intriguingly two-edged. A startlingly alternative commission, co-produced by Opera North.’ (**** The Times)

‘A unique piece of theatre and a searingly affecting story, extraordinarily well told’ (**** The Yorkshire Post)

‘there's nothing else like it!’ (**** What’s On Stage)

‘monumental talent, originality and theatricality of the highest order’ (The British Theatre Guide)

‘Kill for a ticket’ (The York Press)

Performance history

West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds
28th January – 1st February 2014

Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry
7th – 8th February 2014

Contact, Manchester
13th – 15th February 2014

Northern Stage, Newcastle
27th February – 1st March 2014

Mayfest at Bristol Old Vic, Bristol
19th May 2014

Le Maillon – Wacken, Strasbourg
7th October 2014

Get in touch

If you're interested to learn more about any of our initiatives, or would like to get involved, please contact us on...

Phone: +44 (0)113 243 9999
Address: Opera North Grand Theatre,
46 New Briggate, Leeds, LS1 6NU