2012, Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne
Bild-Lilli is the prequel to Lull Studio's 2007 show Lapdog. It premiered in Melbourne in Malthouse Theatre’s Helium season in 2012 and was nominated for the 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!
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.
Bild-Lilli is produced and performed by Elena Knox with design and composition by Lindsay Webb, technical invention by Phil Downing, and financial assistance from Besen Foundation.
"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."
"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."
"Oh, goody! Some original, intelligent, feminist and funny theatre!"