887 (The Barbican)

Rarely has a trip down memory lane been quite so visceral.

Robert Lepage is a French-Canadia actor, writer and dramaturge of international reputation hailing from Quebec, and 887 (the number of his childhood home) he literally walks us through the key and formative moments of his life neatly woven around a story about his inability to learn the lines of Michele Lalonde’s 1968 poem ‘Speak White’ which he needed to do for a cultural engagement.

It’s an exploration of self, family, memory (both personal and collective) and of a national and cultural identity – and it’s breathtakingly beautiful.

Hugely imaginative staging, including the use of his iPhone camera only enhance the feeling of intimacy, and serve as a perfect example of how cunning and delicate use of technology can enhance theatrical experience.

It was funny, tragic, hopeful and uplifting. It received a standing ovation on the night I saw it, including from Mark Rylance who was seated a couple of seats along from me… so it must have been pretty good.


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