Play remastered for 21st century

Audiovisual effects and architectural projections feature in a "remastered" version of director Robert Lepage's 1991 play Needles and Opium at the New Zealand Festival in Wellington.

Weta Digital has partnered with the play to bring it to Wellington. "It seemed fitting to align ourselves with an artist who intimately understands how to embrace technology as a way to enhance the act of storytelling," Weta Digital general manager Tom Greally said. 

The play deals with the journeys of drug addicted artists Miles Davis and Jean Cocteau, running in parallel with the story of a heartbroken man holed up in Jean-Paul Sartre's old room at a Canadian hotel.

The remastered version of the play, featuring high-tech effects and an updated storyline, has been a critical hit in Lepage's native Canada, described as "a sensuous visual and aural experience" by reviewer Wayne Leung. 

Needles and Opium will run from February 21 to February 24 at the Opera House in Wellington as part of the 2014 New Zealand Festival.

The Dominion Post