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needles and opium


needles and opium
 
DATES
May 1 - 10, 2015
THEATRE
Bluma Appel Theatre
RUN TIME
105 minutes, no intermission
WRITTEN & DIRECTED BY
Robert Lepage
ENGLISH TRANSLATION BY
Jenny Montgomery
An Ex Machina production presented by Canadian Stage
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★★★★ (out of 4) "a masterpiece"
- Toronto Star

★★★★ (out of 4) "rebirth of the cool"
- The Globe and Mail


Following sold-out shows in 2013, Robert Lepage’s Needles and Opium returns to Canadian Stage for an exclusive 10-performance run.

The technological wizardry dazzled audiences while the poignant performances resonated deeply. Intertwining the lives of Miles Davis, Jean Cocteau, and a heartbroken artist named Robert, it’s a beautiful, poetic, and transformative experience. This is a masterpiece you won’t want to miss the second time around.

One night in 1949, on the plane bringing him back to France, Jean Cocteau writes his Lettre aux Américains in which fascination and disenchantment intertwine: he has just discovered New York, where he presented his most recent feature film L’Aigle à deux têtes. At the same time, Miles Davis is visiting Paris for the first time, bringing bebop with him to the old continent. Parisian jazz fans are ecstatic. As the notes of Je suis comme je suis linger in the air, Juliette Greco opens her arms to him.
 
Forty years later, at the Hotel La Louisiane in Paris, a lonely Québécois tries in vain to forget his former lover. His emotional torments echo Cocteau’s dependence on opium and that of Davis’ on heroin. There begins a spectacular withdrawal experience where the drawings of the prince of poets and the blue notes of the jazzman accompany his leap into nothingness, the desperate effort of a man looking inwards in order to vanquish his pain and liberate himself from his love addiction.
 
Through highly visual staging, which is as much magic as it is theatre, Robert Lepage revisits, 20 years after its first production, Needles and Opium. New scenography, original images, and the Miles Davis character onstage complement Cocteau’s words and Marc Labrèche’s sensitive and ingenious performance. The result is a production with mesmerizing effects, a journey into the night that puts us under a spell and leads us into the light.

Marc Labrèche
Wellesley Robertson III

 

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