You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Lulu

Inspired by G.W. Pabst's 1928 silent film "Pandora's Box," "Lulu" is probably the theater highlight of this year's Sydney Festival. Neill Gladwin's feisty adaptation of the film attempts to capture a moment in Hollywood history when starlet Brooks became forever linked to the image of the sexually voracious Lulu character.

With:
Cast: Kate Agnew (Lulu), Adam Broinowski, Ellen Cressy, Neill Gladwin, Beth Kayes, Jacek Koman, Michael Newbold, Conrad Page.

Inspired by G.W. Pabst’s 1928 silent film “Pandora’s Box” — as well as the original Franz Wedekind play and biographical information about actress Louise Brooks — “Lulu” is probably the theater highlight of this year’s Sydney Festival. Neill Gladwin’s feisty adaptation of the film attempts to capture a moment in Hollywood history when starlet Brooks became forever linked to the image of the sexually voracious Lulu character.

Filmmaker Pabst, having passed on Marlene Dietrich for “Pandora’s Box,” immortalized Brooks as the sultry, doomed beauty Lulu. But the Berlin-shot film was censored and received only limited releases in Germany and the U.S., and Brooks sunk into obscurity. She resurfaced in 1982 with “Lulu in Hollywood,” an autobiography about her patchy Hollywood career.

Now, director Gladwin attempts to find a nonverbal, comedic way to tell the stories of both Lulu and Brooks, resulting in mesmerizing and memorable images of a foggy, film noir atmosphere. Despite a slightly obtuse and disjointed first 15 minutes, “Lulu” captivates with Gladwin’s creation of a living black-and-white silent movie, enacted through movement, dance, clowning, mime and music.

Several extended visual jokes work well with Shaun Gurton’s wonderful set, such as a hilarious scene in which Lulu’s husband, her female lover and two other male suitors chase Lulu and one another in and out of six onstage doors, party music blaring up and down with each opening and slamming.

Although derided by some crix as a victory of style over substance, “Lulu” nonetheless intrigues with its inventive nonverbal enactment of a riveting story, and its depiction of a character who sparked two murders, numerous fights, passions and immense jealousies.

Lulu

Belvoir Street Theater, Sydney; 320 seats, A$34 ($26.50) top

Production: A Sydney Festival and Belvoir's Company B presentation of a performance in one act, written by G.W. Pabst, adapted from his silent film and directed by Neill Gladwin.

Creative: Sets, Shaun Gurton; costumes, Michelle Fallon; lighting, Nick Schlieper; sound, Paul Charlier. Opened, reviewed Jan. 15, 1997. Running time 1 HOUR, 30 MIN.

Cast: Cast: Kate Agnew (Lulu), Adam Broinowski, Ellen Cressy, Neill Gladwin, Beth Kayes, Jacek Koman, Michael Newbold, Conrad Page.

More Legit

  • Watch Tom Hanks Vamp on Stage

    Watch Tom Hanks Vamp on Stage to Calm His 'Henry IV' Audience

    Inspired by G.W. Pabst’s 1928 silent film “Pandora’s Box” — as well as the original Franz Wedekind play and biographical information about actress Louise Brooks — “Lulu” is probably the theater highlight of this year’s Sydney Festival. Neill Gladwin’s feisty adaptation of the film attempts to capture a moment in Hollywood history when starlet Brooks […]

  • Donald Trump, Robert De Niro

    Trump Punches Back at Robert De Niro: 'A Very Low IQ Individual'

    Inspired by G.W. Pabst’s 1928 silent film “Pandora’s Box” — as well as the original Franz Wedekind play and biographical information about actress Louise Brooks — “Lulu” is probably the theater highlight of this year’s Sydney Festival. Neill Gladwin’s feisty adaptation of the film attempts to capture a moment in Hollywood history when starlet Brooks […]

  • Matt Bomer Andrew Rannells

    Stagecraft Podcast: Matt Bomer, Andrew Rannells on Broadway's 'Boys in the Band'

    Inspired by G.W. Pabst’s 1928 silent film “Pandora’s Box” — as well as the original Franz Wedekind play and biographical information about actress Louise Brooks — “Lulu” is probably the theater highlight of this year’s Sydney Festival. Neill Gladwin’s feisty adaptation of the film attempts to capture a moment in Hollywood history when starlet Brooks […]

  • Bruce Springsteen72nd Annual Tony Awards, Show,

    Tony Awards: Everything You Didn't See on TV

    Inspired by G.W. Pabst’s 1928 silent film “Pandora’s Box” — as well as the original Franz Wedekind play and biographical information about actress Louise Brooks — “Lulu” is probably the theater highlight of this year’s Sydney Festival. Neill Gladwin’s feisty adaptation of the film attempts to capture a moment in Hollywood history when starlet Brooks […]

  • Tina Fey72nd Annual Tony Awards, Show,

    Tony Awards: The Night’s Biggest Snubs and Surprises

    Inspired by G.W. Pabst’s 1928 silent film “Pandora’s Box” — as well as the original Franz Wedekind play and biographical information about actress Louise Brooks — “Lulu” is probably the theater highlight of this year’s Sydney Festival. Neill Gladwin’s feisty adaptation of the film attempts to capture a moment in Hollywood history when starlet Brooks […]

  • Amy Schumer introduces a performance by

    Tony Awards: Amy Schumer Calls 'My Fair Lady's' Henry Higgins a Mansplainer

    Inspired by G.W. Pabst’s 1928 silent film “Pandora’s Box” — as well as the original Franz Wedekind play and biographical information about actress Louise Brooks — “Lulu” is probably the theater highlight of this year’s Sydney Festival. Neill Gladwin’s feisty adaptation of the film attempts to capture a moment in Hollywood history when starlet Brooks […]

  • Robert De Niro gestures while introducing

    Robert De Niro Says 'F--- Trump' at Tony Awards, Gets Standing Ovation

    Inspired by G.W. Pabst’s 1928 silent film “Pandora’s Box” — as well as the original Franz Wedekind play and biographical information about actress Louise Brooks — “Lulu” is probably the theater highlight of this year’s Sydney Festival. Neill Gladwin’s feisty adaptation of the film attempts to capture a moment in Hollywood history when starlet Brooks […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content