Playing Cards 1: SPADES

Directed by Robert Lepage

  • © Erick Labbe
    (c) Erick Labbe
  • © Erick Labbe
    (c) Erick Labbe
  • © Erick Labbe
    (c) Erick Labbe
  • © Erick Labbe
    (c) Erick Labbe
  • © Erick Labbe
    (c) Erick Labbe

An ordinary deck of cards consists of 52 cards with four colors, four suits, and 2 jokers. A tarot deck consists of 78 cards with four symbols, four suits, 21 Arcana or trump cards, and one joker.

Card games involve a series of rules, symbols, mathematics, numerology, mythology, and especially figures: by rearranging these figures, as many stories can be told as there are possible combinations. This is a wonderful framework for a theater cycle that Canadian director Robert Lepage will be exploring in his new production Spades , and will continue over the coming years in three additional performances: Hearts , Diamonds, and Clubs. Each of these productions stands independently and explores a universe all its own inspired by the qualities of the cards, which are represented by the four suits.

The origins of the card deck lie in the Middle East, and each of the four parts will explore the exchange between Western and the Arab world, their relationship to one another, and the culture shock that takes place in their encounter.

In the first part, Spades , Lepage places the spectator back in the year 2003, the year the U.S. marched into Iraq, and situates us in two locations, two desert cities that could not be more different than one another: Las Vegas and Bagdad.

In these melting pots, characters of various origins and dispositions encounter one another and move within a cosmos of gambling, addiction, manipulation, hope, alliances between enemies and friends, and the contrast between extreme wealth and extreme poverty.

The visual magician Robert Lepage is celebrated around the world. Since the mid 1990s, his theater productions – often in several languages – have been performed all over the world and captivate by the way of their fantastic mode of narration. Lepage was awarded the European Theater Prize and staged the Ring cycle at the New York Met
with great success. Robert Lepage is attending the Ruhrtriennale for the first time.


— 21. September 2012
Further dates
— 22. 23. 25. 26. September
— app. 2 h 30 min
— 21. 22. 23. 25. 26. September: 18.45
Germany Premiere
— 20 / 30 / 40 / 55 €
Reduced prices start at 10,00 €
  • Fri21Sep
    Playing Cards 1: SPADES on 21. September 2012 at 7.30 PM
  • Sat22Sep
    Playing Cards 1: SPADES on 22. September 2012 at 7.30 PM
  • Sun23Sep
    Playing Cards 1: SPADES on 23. September 2012 at 7.30 PM
  • Tue25Sep
    Playing Cards 1: SPADES on 25. September 2012 at 7.30 PM
  • Wed26Sep
    Playing Cards 1: SPADES on 26. September 2012 at 7.30 PM
A production of Ex Machina. Initiated by 360° Network on behalf of Luminato, Toronto Festival of Arts & Creativity. A coproduction of Ruhrtriennale with Teatro Circo Price – Madrid mit Scene Nationale de Senart – La Coupole, La Comete – Scene Nationale de Chalons-en-Champagne, Célestins Theater Lyon, Cirque Jules Verne & Maison de la Culture – Amiens, The Roundhouse – London, Odéon - Théâtre de l’Europe, Ostre Gasvark Teater – Copenhagen, Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Gasverket Stockholm and members of 360° Network (international group of round artistic venues). Held in cooperation with Stiftung Zollverein.