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Robert Lepage finds collaborators and inspiration in high places.
weightless body of a space station. continues in that breathtaking vein.
No matter how clever his mechanised sets or use of miniature cameras. however. his plays could never hope to beat Hollywood films for special effects. Something which. he says. makes his theatre performances more. not less. attractive to audiences. He believes that his drama. like an honest magician. shows its hand to the viewers. impressing them with the ingenious simplicity behind its wonderful images. Audiences‘ experiences of blockbuster movies are. he thinks. very much the opposite of this.
‘ll‘ people don‘t know how it works.‘ he argues. ‘like in these big l‘il/llliillil/l. Iii-tech movies. they are stunned at the moment. but when they come out they are alienated and feel \Illplti.‘
The popularity of his stage work comes. he hopes. from its inclusiveness. He has an aversion to productions in which the cast arrives on stage with an apparent assumption of tremendous knowledge on their part. and complete ignorance on the part of the audience. ‘ll' you start with the attitude. “This is the subject matter. and I don‘t have the vaguest idea about it".‘ he says. ‘that. as a beginning of the creative process. is appealing to audiences.‘
If this approach aims at taking the expectant theatregoer with him at every stage of his performance. Lepage succeeds l'abttlotisly with The l‘ur Sir/c ()l The .l/min. Amazingly inventive. visually mesmerising. its humanistic reflections on sibling rivalry and bereavement are as poignant and dramatic as anything it has to say about the conflict in space between the ultimate pair of warring brothers.
The Far Side Of The Moon is at Tramway, Glasgow, Thu 19—Sat 21 Apr.
Having contributed to movies by Wim Wenders and Jonathan Demme and dance pieces by Bill T. Jones and Trisha Brown. Laurie Anderson hooked up with Lepage to write the music for Far Side Of The Moon. The New York Times described her score as 'weird and beautiful'.
Lepage's 1995 movie. The Confessional. paid tribute to Hitchcock's / Confess. In 1952. Hitchcock filmed Montgomery Clift as a priest concealing a confessor's secret in Quebec City. Lepage‘s film is set at the same time. but in his version. the secrets of the confessional reach across the generations.
Known variously as the matriarchal Sal in The Beach. the one who slept in a glass case in London‘s Serpentine Gallery and as the mother of John Byrne‘s children, Swinton is also the star of Lepage’s forthcoming movie Possible Worlds. Her performance was described by one North American viewer as ‘her best since Or/ando‘.
Frank Lloyd Wright Lepage‘s Geometry Of Miracles took inspiration from the mathematical principles behind Lloyd Wright’s visionary architecture. It didn’t always work. but you’ve got to admire him for
Lepage discovered theatre as a fan watching the elaborate stage shows of Genesis. Many years later. he directed the ex-Genesis front—man’s Secret World tour. 1993—94. ‘I discovered that he had been a fan and seen a lot of my concerts in Montreal.’ said Gabriel. ‘so he knew my songs probably better than i did.’ Q called it the ‘most ambitious tour of one night stands in the history of indoor rockular entertainment’. (Mark Fisher)
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