Ex Machina/Robert Lepage: Needles and Opium

7 - 16 July 2016 / 19:45, 15:00
Spellbinding technical wizardry illuminates a multilayered tale of heartbreak as Robert Lepage takes inspiration from the lives of Jean Cocteau and Miles Davis to explore addiction, disorientation and the creative drive.

In 1949, French writer and filmmaker Cocteau returns from New York full of wonder and disenchantment while the American musician Davis visits Paris, bringing bebop to the old continent and making new fans. Forty years on, a lonely actor tries to forget his former lover, his torment echoing the dependency both artists had on drugs.

During a hypnotic series of vignettes played out within an ingeniously tilting cube, the three characters float and slide through time and space, from a Parisian hotel room to New York streets. Filmic projections, a jazz soundtrack and poetic performances by two actors complete Lepage’s production. First conceived by the boundary-pushing Canadian theatre-maker early on in his landmark career, the iconic piece is reimagined today with his trademark blend of seductive storytelling and visual transformation.

1 hour 35 mins/no interval

Age guidance 14+

Performed in English and some French, with accompanying English surtitles
This event is part of:

Presented by the Barbican

An Ex Machina production

Co-produced by the Barbican; Théâtre du Trident – Québec, Canadian Stage – Toronto; Théâtre du Nouveau Monde – Montréal; Adelaide Festival; New Zealand Festival; Le Grand T – théâtre de Loire-Atlantique; Les Quinconces-L’espal – scène conventionnée théâtres du Mans; Célestins – Théâtre de Lyon; Le Volcan – scène nationale du Havre; Festival de Otoño a Primavera – Madrid; ArtsEmerson –The World On Stage, Boston; NAC English Theatre with Théâtre français du CNA and Magnetic North Theatre Festival; LG Arts Center – Seoul and Setagaya Public Theatre – Tokyo

Producer for Ex Machina – Michel Bernatchez
Associate Production – Europe, Japan: Richard Castelli – Epidemic
Associate Production – The Americas, Asia (except Japan), Australia, NZ: Menno Plukker Theatre Agent

Ex Machina is funded by the Canada Council for the Arts, Quebec’s Arts and Literature Council and the City of Quebec