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Shocking play is a 'ripping' yarn at Hackney Empire

PUBLISHED: 10:00 08 October 2009 | UPDATED: 15:00 05 October 2010

WHEN it was written in the 1890s, Frank Wedekind s sex tragedy, Lulu, about the ultimate femme fatale who meets her end on Jack the Ripper s blade, was considered too dangerous and scandalous for anyone to dare stage. A century later the cruel, violent an

WHEN it was written in the 1890s, Frank Wedekind's sex tragedy, Lulu, about the ultimate femme fatale who meets her end on Jack the Ripper's blade, was considered too dangerous and scandalous for anyone to dare stage.

A century later the cruel, violent and erotic tale of the woman who uses sex as a means of survival retains its bloody edge and still has the power to leave audiences gasping.

Drawing heavily on the writer's inspiration of cabaret and circus, the action in this new production takes place on the set of a life-sized toy theatre amongst swirling and burly male predators, a rollerball countess, an eight foot animal tamer, wandering jazz beauty and a live sextet cabaret band.

This expressionistic pantomime world provides the setting for the events of a stark and visceral tale of sex, self-destruction and death.

Directed by Rachel Snider, Lulu is presented by Rififi which creates work with fierce narrative drive with a surrealist aesthetic.

Lulu is at the Hackney Empire Studio in Mare Street until October 24.

Box Office: 020 8985 2424.

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