This is the 20th Robert Lepage production I’ve seen in the last 23 years. This has included concert staging for Peter Gabriel, Shakespeare plays, operas and songspiel; but at the heart of his output is devised work like this, of which I’ve been lucky enough to see 10 - two of them in different incarnations, 2 and 20 years apart respectively. This devised piece breaks the previous record for length by almost 3 hours, running at 8 hrs 40 mins including a couple of hours worth of breaks. It consists of 9 acts in five parts in four languages, each act centred on a different character with just nine actors playing all of the parts. The technical team required to co-ordinate the lighting, sound and set changes is considerably bigger; which you realise when they pour onto the stage to take a bow! The concept is to explore voice, speech and language. The story takes as its starting point a young Nicaraguan girl who’s uncle sells her to a German pimp after her parents die, but this is the last act ! Before this we see her die on a plane leaving an orphan in the hands of an opera singer who eventually adopts him. She marries and divorces someone who helps her trace him. He re-trains as a neurologist and marries a patient who is involved in dubbing the debut film of the orphan. Her sister has a mental illness from which she recovers enough to return to her bookshop…..It isn’t as inventive as his best work, and some of the connections and diversions don’t work well enough, but there are captivating moments of theatrical magic. In truth, there is a 3-hour masterpiece crying to get out, and it’s a case of less would be more. However, I don’t begrudge one minute of the nine hours I spent at the Barbican and feel priviledged to have witnessed another of this genius’ theatrical experiments. - Gareth James
18 Sep 08
Lepage is a genius of the theatre. No-one else has anything like his creative imagination and abilities. This is a remarkable piece which deserves every award available. - fred
10 Sep 08
What an evening, one of the most stunning theatre evnts I ever saw. Thanks to You, Lepage, and your brillant cast ! - Peter McMillan
09 Sep 08
An extraordinary theatrical event. The nine acts gradually wove together the lives of nine different people. So many things to think about afterwards about language, relationships, communications. The nine hours flew by for me. - Gill Gorvett
08 Sep 08
An extraordinary theatrical event. The nine acts gradually wove together the lives of nine differet people. So many things to think about afterwards about language, relationships, communications. The nine hours flew by for me. - Gill Gorvett
08 Sep 08
I saw (or sat through) the first day's performance of Lipsynch yesterday - all 9 hours. The nine acts (in six parts) vary in quality from the first act which was brilliant to the eighth act - tedious & could easily have been left out.
Overall this is a brilliant piece of work with great use of music (but some early technical issues) but if you have the stamina it's well worth staying to the end for. you'll probably not see anything like it again. - Jonathan Tanner
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