Slideshow Needles and Opium

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Needles and Opium
Needles and Opium
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  • Text
    Robert Lepage
  • Director
    Robert Lepage
  • English translation
    Jenny Montgomery
  • Assistant Director
    Normand Bissonnette
  • Performed by
    Marc Labrèche or Olivier Normand
    Wellesley Robertson III
  • Set Designer
    Carl Fillion
  • Props Designer
    Claudia Gendreau
  • Composer and Sound Designer
    Jean-Sébastien Côté
  • Lighting Designer
    Bruno Matte
  • Costume Designer
    François St-Aubin
  • Image Designer
    Lionel Arnould
  • The show contains excerpts from Jean Cocteau's A Letter to Americans and Opium, the Diary of a Cure.
  • Director's Agent
    Lynda Beaulieu
  • Production Manager
    Julie Marie Bourgeois
    Assisted by Valérie Lambert
  • Production coordinator
    Vanessa Landry-Claverie
  • Technical Director
    Michel Gosselin
    Pierre Gagné
  • Tour Manager
    Charlotte Ménard
  • Stage Manager
    Adèle Saint-Amand
    Caroline Ferland
  • Sound Manager
    Marcin Bunar
    Jean-Sébastien Côté
  • Video Manager
    Thomas Payette
  • Lighting Manager
    David Desrochers
    Jean-François Piché
  • Costume and Props Manager
    Marilou Nadeau
    Claudia Gendreau
  • Head Stagehand
    Pierre Gagné
  • Stagehand
    Sylvain Béland
    Antony Roy
    Jean-Félix Labrie
  • Rigger
    Julien Leclerc
    Meric Messahli
    Maxime Bouchard
  • Automation Consultant
    Tobie Horswill
  • Video Consultant
    Catherine Guay
  • Make-up
    Jean Bégin
  • Costumes
    Carl Bezanson
    Julie Sauriol
  • Set building
    Scène Éthique
    Astuce Décors
  • An Ex Machina production
  • Additional music
  • Générique by Miles Davis
    Warner Chappell Music France / Bloc Notes Music Publishing
    Courtesy of Universal Music Canada
  • Riff Tide
    Words and Music by Coleman Randolph Hawkins
    © (ASCAP)
  • Tune Up (When Lights Are Low) by Miles Davis
    Performed by Miles Davis Quintet
    © 2006 Concord Music Group
  • Je suis comme je suis
    Written by Joseph Kosma and Jacques Prévert
    Courtesy of Universal Music Canada
  • My Funny Valentine
    Music by Richard Rodgers, Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
    Performed by Craig Pederson
    © Courtesy of Rodgers & Hammerstein
  • The way you look tonight

    Written by Dorothy Fields and Jerome Kern © Universal - PolyGram International Publishing, Inc (ASCAP)
    Used by Permission of Canadian Shapiro Bernstein o/b/o Aldi Music Company
    Interpreted by Marie Gignac
  • L'assassinat de Carala by Miles Davis
    Album: Ascenseur pour l'échafaud
    Warner Chappell Music France / Bloc Notes Music Publishing
    Courtesy of Universal Music Canada
  • (JS Côté)
    Contains a sample of Départ de Belle
    Composed by Georges Auric
    Performed by Adriano, Axios Chorus, Moscow Symphony Orchestra & Sergei Krivobokov
    Album: La Belle et la Bête
    Courtesy of Naxos of America
  • Smooch by Miles Davis and Charles Mingus
    Performed by Miles Davis
    © 2006 Concord Music Group
  • Broadway Follies by Ray Davies
    Audio Network Canada Inc.
  • Additional images
    Ascenseur pour l'échafaud, Louis Malle, ©1958 NOUVELLES EDITIONS DE FILMS
    Bridgeman Art Library
    "Désordre" de Jacques Baratier © 1949 Argos Films.
    Getty Images
    Studio Harcourt
    LIFE/Copyrights 1949 Time Inc.
    Philippe Halsman/Magnum photos
    Succession Jean Cocteau/SODRAC
    NY Transit Museum
    Prelinger Archives
    Un homme, une époque : Mouloudji / Réa : Jean-Marie Coldefy 28/07/1961, ©INA
    Cinépanorama/ Réa : Jean Kerchbron 19/12/1957, © INA
    Festival Européen du Jazz, © INA
    Les Actualités Françaises. Saint Germain des Prés va-t-il prendre la relève du boul’mich ? 27/10/1965, © INA
  • Trumpet
    Craig L. Pedersen
  • Acrobatics consultants Geneviève Bérubé
    Yves Gagnon
    Jean-Sébastien Fortin
    Jean-François Faber
  • in coproduction with
    Théâtre du Trident, Québec
    Canadian Stage, Toronto
    Adelaide Festival
    New Zealand Festival
    Théâtre du Nouveau Monde, Montréal
    Célestins, Théâtre de Lyon
    Le Grand T, théâtre de Loire-Atlantique
    Les Quinconces-L'espal, scène conventionnée, théâtres du Mans
    Le Volcan, Scène nationale du Havre
    Festival de Otoño a Primavera, Madrid
    Le Théâtre français du CNA avec the English Theatre et the Magnetic North Theatre Festival
    ArtsEmerson: The World On Stage, Emerson College, Boston, MA
    LG Arts Center, Seoul
    Setagaya Public Theatre, Tokyo
    The Barbican, Londres
    La Comète - Scène nationale de Châlons en Champagne
    La Comédie de Clermont-Ferrand scène nationale
    Les Salins, scène nationale de Martigues
    John F. Kennedy for Performing Arts
    American Conservatory Theatre
    «Marin Sorescu» National Theatre and Shakespeare Foundation, Craiova
    The International Diaghilev Festival, Perm
    Theatre Royal Plymouth
  • Associate Production - Europe, Japan
    Epidemic (Richard Castelli, assisted by Chara Skiadelli, Florence Berthaud and Claire Dugot)
  • Associate Production - The Americas, Asia (except Japan), Australia, NZ
    Menno Plukker Theatre Agent (Menno Plukker, assisted by Magdalena Marszalek and Isaïe Richard)
  • Ex Machina Producer
    Michel Bernatchez, assisted by Vanessa Landry-Claverie
  • Ex Machina is funded by the Canada Council for the Arts, Quebec's Arts and Literature Council and the City of Quebec.

Needles and Opium


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.

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 words and drawings of the prince of poets and the blue notes of the exceptional jazzman, accompany his leap into nothingness, the desperate effort of a man looking inwards in order to vanquish the pain and liberate himself from his love addiction.

Thru highly visual staging, which is as much magic as it is theatre, Robert Lepage revisits, 20 years after its first production, Needles and Opium. A new scenography, original images, and an acrobat 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.


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