Before Barbie™, there was Bild-Lilli. Hard drinking and smoking hot, this 50s icon riots her passage from Hamburg to Mattel.
Bild-Lilli presents the true and mercurial fortunes of Lilli, the 1950s prototype for the Barbie™ doll. Savvy, sassy, hard drinking and smoking 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!
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.
Hold on to your hamburgers as Lull Studios serves a poetic mash-up of live art and songs and things that are so wrong they’re… very, very wrong. Up against capitalism, commercialism, globalization and an incontinent poodle, what’s a dashboard dolly to do?
Duration: 90 mins (no interval)
Warning: Contains nudity, coarse language, smoke effects
Presented by Lull Studios and Malthouse Theatre in association with Arts Radar
by Elena Knox
Writer / director / performer / composer / costumier Elena Knox
Designer / composer / builder / translator / artist Lindsay Webb
Illuminator / inventor / operator / poodle trainer Phil Downing
Producer Sam Hawker
Image Matt Fatches and Lindsay Webb