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Technical glitch halts Needles and Opium


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Last night’s opening performance of key Adelaide Festival show Needles and Opium was cancelled more than halfway through due to technical issues.

The production – a re-staging by Ex Machina of Canadian theatre-maker Robert Lepage’s much-acclaimed 1990s play – features a complex, moving set and is being performed at the Dunstan Playhouse in the Adelaide Festival Centre.

InDaily’s reviewer said the opening-night audience was clearly enjoying the show up until the point, about 75 minutes in, when subtitles advised there would be a pause due to a technical difficulty. After several more minutes the lights came on and a message advised the performance would not be resuming.

The Festival has confirmed that performances for tonight, Saturday and Sunday will go ahead as scheduled, and those attending last night have been advised to contact BASS ticketing.

Needles and Opium is presented as a series of vignettes inspired by the stories of opium-addicted French poet and film-maker Jean Cocteau, who visited New York in 1949, and heroin-dependent American jazz player Miles Davis, who stayed in Paris at the same time. Forty years later, their pain is echoed by the emotional torment of a lonely Quebec man called Robert, who is also at a hotel in Paris, trying to forget his ex-lover.

In a recent interview with InDaily, actor Marc Labrèche said the themes and stories were just as relevant today as when he first starred in the original production more than 20 years ago.

Labrèche also described the new version as “more like a 3D play”.

“It’s fun to do; it’s fun to be suspended and just doing some flickbacks and talking while we have our heads upside down, and people laugh because of that, and still I think they’re moved by the wonderful text and the scenography and the feeling of the show.”

Needles and Opium is playing again tonight (Friday), Saturday (2pm and 8pm) and Sunday (5pm) at the Dunstan Playhouse.

Adelaide Festival hub

Click here for InDaily’s stories and reviews from the 2014 Adelaide Festival, including WOMADelaide and Adelaide Writers’ Week.


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