Pandora's Box



  • A play by Frank Wedekind; written in 1894, it wasfirst performed in 1905 in Vienna with his wife Tilly Newes (1886 - 1970)in the leading role. It was a sequel to Earth Spirit, whichintroduced the beautiful and promiscuous femme fatale Lulu.Pandora's Box depicts her total ruin and eventual murder. Denouncedat the time as pornographic, it is now more frequently criticizedfor misogyny. The two stories were combined in Alban Berg's operaLulu in 1937 and again in 1970 by the British dramatist PeterBarnes, whose Lulu opened at the Nottingham Playhouse withJulia Foster in the title role and transferred to the Royal CourtTheatre, London.

    Pandora's Box begins with Lulu, who has been imprisonedfor killing a lover, escaping with the help of the lesbian CountessGeschwitz. Once outside, Lulu seduces her dead lover's son and movesto Paris, where she survives relationships with several unsavourymen, including her father, an incestuous pimp. She agrees to sleepwith him again if he will kill one of her lovers of whom she has growntired. Having moved on to London, Lulu goes on the streets, whereshe and the countess are murdered by one of her clients, Jack theRipper.