Needles and Opium

Ex Machina / Robert Lepage

Hydro-Québec Auditorium

Needles and Opium is a meditation on art, love and addiction, a collage of moments when time and gravitational force seem suspended, an immersion in an Escher canvas without top or bottom, an illusionist act as fascinating as strange.

One night in 1949, on the plane taking him back to France, Jean Cocteau writes A Letter to the Americans, where fascination and disenchantment are intertwined: he has just discovered New York, where he went to present his latest feature film, The Eagle With Two Heads.

During the same period, Miles Davis visits Paris for the first time, bringing bebop in his luggage. Parisian jazz lovers greet him warmly, and while signing her song, “Je suis comme je suis”, Juliette Gréco welcomes him with open arms.

Forty years later in La Louisiane hotel in Paris, a lonely Quebecer tries to forget his ex. His emotional torments find distant echoes in Cocteau’s opium addiction and in Davis’s heroin dependence. There begins a spectacular withdrawal where the Prince of Poets’ words and the unique jazzman’s bluish notes accompany a leap into the void: that of a desperate man who plunges into himself to escape from pain and break free from love addiction.

Avertissement : Le spectacle contient des références aux drogues. Les acteurs fument une cigarette ainsi que des cigarettes électroniques.

Ex Machina est subventionnée par le Conseil des arts du Canada, le Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec et la Ville de Québec.

14 and up

Postponed — 95 minutes with no intermission $60 — $84

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Photo - Tristam Kenton
Photo - Nicola-Frank Vachon
Photo - Tristam Kenton
Photo - Tristam Kenton
Photo - Tristam Kenton
Photo - Tristam Kenton
Photo - Tristam Kenton
Photo - Tristam Kenton
Photo - Nicola-Frank Vachon


Olivier Normand
Wellesley Robertson III


Written and directed by Robert Lepage
Assistant Director Normand Bissonnette
Set Designer Carl Fillion
Properties Designer Claudia Gendreau
Music 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, Vanessa Landry-Claverie
Technical Director Michel Gosselin, Pierre Gagné

Public Sponsors of the Programming

  • Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec
  • Canada
  • Canada Council for the Arts
  • Ville de Québec