Needles and Opium

Weta Digital Season – Part of the New Zealand Festival

On 24th February we went to see ‘Needles and Opium’ which is part of Wellington’s summer festival.

The set was ingenious; it was three sides of a cube, set centre stage which frequently rotated and morphed into a hotel room, a busy street in New York or a psychedelic set for a film. One minute an actor is on the floor, the next he is climbing out of a window or crawling through a trapdoor. We were expecting special effects – Weta digital were partners the production – and there was a constant stream of them!

The production was set in the Opera House. This was a much grander affair than the Circa Theatre (we visited last week). It reminded us of the old fashioned Victorian Theatres of London.

It was a packed house. There was milling crowd around the entrance and a cacophony of noise in the auditorium as people chatted really loudly with their plastic glass of wine or beer. It even took a while after the start of the production for everyone to turn off their mobiles!

The production centres on the life of Jazz musician and trumpet player, Miles Davis, who visited Paris in 1949; his life seems to mirror the love intrigue of the French actor who is performing the voice over for the modern retelling. Then there are the words of the poet Jean Cocteau – with words from the beginning of the 20th century… and I must admit to being a little confused with this juxtaposition.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *