Filed under

Playing Cards 1: Spades

Robert Lepage has a few tricks up his sleeve with Spades

Presented by Ex Machina Directed by Robert Lepage

Playing Cards 1: Spades. Photo by Erick Labbe.

If life is game of cards, then Quebec's Robert Lepage is on a major winning streak. His latest show, Playing Cards 1: Spades, the first in the four-part Playing Cards series, is raising the stakes at Toronto's Luminato Festival of Creativity this week. A Faustian tale of temptation, corruption and desperation, Spades features brilliant theatre-in-the-round staging, edgy subject matter and top-notch performances in what can only be described as theatre of epic proportions. Set in Las Vegas at the onset of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the play explores the theme of war through a varied cast of characters with intersecting storylines. The players include: homosexual soldiers, bell boys, maids, show girls, an Elvis impersonator, French Canadian newlyweds, a mysterious cowboy named Dick, a British TV producer with a gambling addiction, a recovering alcoholic, a prostitute and a mystical desert man.

The six mutilingual performers (Sylvio Arriola, Nuria Garcia, Tony Guilfoyle, Martin Haberstroh, Sophie Martin and Roberto Mori) switch roles, genders and wigs at lightning speed, while Jean Hazel's versatile set morphs from scene to scene as the actors spring up from inside the stage, moving seamlessly from bar, to bedroom, to military bunkers. At three hours (with no intermission), Spades may leave some audiences squirming in their seats. But for many, the reward is worth the risk. Playing Cards 1: Spades runs until June 17 at the Canadian Opera Company's Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre. Visit for more information and to buy tickets.

Show Dates: 
Fri, 2012-06-15 - Sun, 2012-06-17
Our rating:


Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.