Jul 072015

Les Aiguilles et l'opiumRobert Lepage’s Les Aiguilles et l’opium¬†sets the story of Miles Davis, Jean Cocteau and a Quebecois voice actor spinning around each other on a spinning stage built from three intersecting planes balanced slightly off the floor on its point (trailer here). From moment to moment walls rotated and became floors and then rotated back to become walls again. As they did, gravity opened and closed trap doors to lower and then raise beds or tables. There were no level surfaces to walk on and the actors were frequently harnessed to ropes in order to “stand up” on steeply canted floors, to float above the centre point as lights turned the stage into outer space or even to walk along the outside edges of the stage as it turned.

For me, the physicality demanded of the actors by this staging was the focus of the piece rather than the interweaving stories.