Needles & Opium

Needles & Opium

Needles & Opium

Wednesday 7 – Thursday 8 November

Through highly visual staging, which is as much magic as it is theatre, Robert Lepage revisits Needles and Opium, 20 years after its first production. Coming to Theatre Royal Plymouth from Wednesday 7 – Thursday 8 November and starring Olivier Normand and Wellesley Robertson III, these are the only UK performances on the current world tour.

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.

A new scenography, original images, and an acrobat onstage complement Cocteau’s words. 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.

Tickets are priced from £12.50 and can be booked online at or by calling the Theatre Royal Plymouth Box Office on 01752 267222. Concessions are available.

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