There’s a scene in 887, Robert Lepage’s latest show, which opened at the Edinburgh International Festival last week, in which the French-Canadian director stands alone in his kitchen, lit up by the glare of his laptop, watching his own obituary. Three beers sit on the work surface and he has a fourth in his hand. As it plays, he tuts, peeved that three decades of visionary theatre merit merely two minutes of screen time — inaccurate, at that.
Even if his reputation has waned in recent years, Lepage is still considered one of the world’s great theatremakers. A slashie before slashies were slashies, he writes, directs and designs his shows — often performing in them as well — and the best of them slip down with a shimmering, magic-eye theatricality: tumble-driers morph into space stations and shoeboxes turn into cities.