If you thought Gone With the Wind was long, brace yourself for Canadian director Robert Lepage’s new piece Lipsynch, which will clock in at nine hours when it comes to the Barbican Theatre this autumn, running for nine days only from 6 to 14 September 2008.

Spanning 70 years and performed in three parts, Lipsynch explores the voice as a metaphor for human expression and interaction. It conjures up a panorama that links nine lives through the decades and locations, from war-torn Vienna to pre-revolutionary Nicaragua and modern London.

The world premiere production of Lipsynch is performed by an international ensemble in French, German, Spanish and English, with English surtitles. It’s produced by Ex Machina and Theatre sans Frontieres and co-produced by barbicanbite08, Cabildo Insular de Tenerife and Festival TransAmeriques, Montreal, in association with Cultural Industry and Northern Stage.

Lepage and his Quebecois theatre company Ex Machina, which he founded in 1994, have previously scored hits at the Barbican with The Andersen Project in 2006, The Dragons’ Trilogy in 2005 and the far side of the moon in 2003. A director, artist, playwright and actor, Lepage’s other credits include his production of Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, which comes to London’s Royal Opera House this summer, running from 7 to 18 July 2008, after premiering in April 2007 in Brussels.

- by Terri Paddock