Bild-Lilli is the prequel to Lull Studios' 2007 show Lapdog. It premiered in Melbourne in Malthouse Theatre’s Helium season in 2012 and was nominated for a prestigious Green Room Award for Innovation in Cabaret. Action shots here.
Bild-Lilli presents the true and mercurial fortunes of Lilli — the 1950s German prototype for the Barbie doll. Savvy, sassy, hard drinking and smokin' hot, Lilli began ‘life’ as a tabloid cartoon in the Hamburg newspaper Bild, became a popular German men’s toy, and in a severe twist of ironic economics now delights little girls worldwide. Scheiße!Visually inventive cabaret… Elena Knox looks the part in alarming heels, moulded blonde wig and a range of clever costumes, and her dolllike physical theatre is excellent.
Bild-Lilli is an eclectic combination of cutting edge cabaret and punishing physical theatre. It explores with a weird sense of humour how a hypermodern society can trash even a glamorous lady of fashion. Elena Knox once again offers a dynamic portrayal of a wide-eyed icon of femininity seeking valiantly to become her own conquest — to discover and sustain a workable contemporary sense of self. Our heroine grapples with image obsession, celebrity, syntax, the neckline of the dirndl — how much is she responsible for?
Bild-Lilli’s quest involves her hilariously learning how to sue, after she finds out that identity theft is a crime and cloning is barely legal, and that the price paid by the Mattel corporation for her DNA (Doll’s Nether Attributes) was an absolute swindle. She becomes a plastic, schizophrenic Erin Brockovich, and finally represents herself against herself in court, campaigning simultaneously for intellectual property crackdowns and global free markets, wearing, of course, her law suit.For me, this is a Frankensteinian recipe of old-school indie-theatre techniques, performance art and cerebral music combined to create a life-sized, freakishly attractive plastic-doll-of-a-show.
Bild-Lilli is produced and performed by Elena Knox with design and composition by Lindsay Webb and technical invention by Phil Downing.
Bild-Lilli has received financial assistance from the Besen Foundation.