About this book
Robert Lepage • Louisa Blair
From internationally acclaimed playwright and author Robert Lepage comes 887 — an autobiographical story originally toured as a solo show. Framed by Lepage’s attempt to memorize Michèle Lalonde’s poem “Speak White,” 887 is an exploration of memory, culture, and community in Quebec.
As the 40th anniversary of La Nuit de la poésie in Montreal approaches, playwright Robert Lepage is invited to recite Michèle Lalonde’s seminal poem “Speak White” from memory on the special night. After agonizing hours spent attempting to memorize the piece, Lepage finds himself unable to recall a single line. In a last effort he decides to employ a mnemonic device dating back to ancient Greece called the Memory Palace — a technique of imagination and association. Lepage’s Memory Palace is 887 Murray Avenue, the apartment block where he grew up. Winding his way around the rooms of the building and the lives of the tenants therein, Lepage guides the reader through a world of recollections of 1960s Quebec, the decade that shaped the province’s cultural and political consciousness.
A mesmerizing and multifaceted glimpse into the realm of memory, 887 is a tour of culture and community in 1960s Quebec through one masterful artist’s remarkable, boundary-defying perspective.
About the Creators
ROBERT LEPAGE is a multidisciplinary artist and founder of creative company Ex Machina. A talented director, playwright, actor, and film director, Lepage has been hailed by international critics, for his highly original theatrical works that incorporate the use of new technologies and defy boundaries.
LOUISA BLAIR is a Quebec city writer, translator, and editor.
Awards and Praise
PRAISE FOR ROBERT LEPAGE AND 887:
?A New York Times Critic’s Pick
?“[T]ouching, intimate, powerful.” — Guardian
?“[E]lectrifying” — Independent
?“[A]mazing … resonant storytelling … it demands to be seen.” — Globe and Mail
?“[S]eductive, brazen … Raw emotional force builds from the accretion of slight moments of remembrance and discovery.” — New York Times
? “[F]or these 125 minutes, magic is possible. Lepage’s masterful command of storytelling, through his physical performance as well as his theatrical trickery, creates a world that’s enveloping, pulling you from one moment to the next, even as it bounces through time.” — Toronto Star
?“[A] work that delights, mesmerizes and provokes.” — Variety
?“The passions are internal, the ideas buried like depth charges to detonate later… Lepage sifts through his own past and his country's and, like theatre artists through the ages, transforms what he finds into stage magic.” — NOW Magazine