Saturday, April 5, 2014

Tilly No-Body: Catastrophes of Love - the story of the first Lulu

Take a look into the lives of Frank Wedekind and Tilly Wedekind, two well-known figures in the history of German theater.

"Tilly No-Body: Catastrophes of Love is a 70-minute, one-woman show weaving together original text and songs with extracts from Tilly's autobiography, letters between herself and Frank, snippets and themes from his plays, and a few inventions along the way. Set in a circus ring (as indeed Wedekind's first LULU play - Earth Spirit - begins), with a lute, two puppets, a circus ball and some puffs of magic, Tilly No-Body invites the audience into a world of love, loss, theatre and desire. Walking the tightrope of the absurd and the beautiful, the grotesque and sublime, the comic and the tragic - this is a paean to Frank and Tilly, and a waltz towards Weimar Germany. "

This play, written and performed by University of California, Davis professor Bella Merlin, illustrates how Tilly's mindset changed throughout her life, from her time as her husband's muse to her days as the writer's widow.

Find out more about Bella Merlin and her play, Tilly No-Body: Catastrophes of Love, by visiting her website. Or, check out this piece from 2010, when the play was staged in Davis, California.

Bella Merlin has also contributed a seminal, fascinating, thought-provoking, must read essay, "Tilly Wedekind and Lulu: The Role of Her Life or the Role in Her Life," to the book Auto/Biography and Identity: Women, Theatre and Performance, edited by Maggie B B. Gale and Vivien Gardner (Manchester University Press, 2009).

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