11 Oct 2019
Well, it wasn’t as bad as “Against”. But then nothing could be. The only word I can think of to describe the acting is “provincial”.
I’m not up on Australian theatre, so don’t know who these folks are meant to be, but the quality is poor. Snow is kind of ok, but it’s a minor role. Sartorius is wooden and stiff and an annoying know it all. Kelvin is neurotic and unsympathetic. She whines (oh yeah, the genders are reversed), she is pretty bad at her job, and she evokes no emotions of any sort. A ton of enthusiasm, zero depth. Plus the Maggie Smith delivery style where it’s meant to sound conversational, but sounds like she’s struggling to remember her lines. And “Ray”… if he studied acting, he should ask for his money back. Flimsy, one-dimensional, unable to communicate anything with body language, cartoonish… Just _awful_. He is meant to be older than her, but looks about a decade younger.
Hugo Weaving is charming and humane, but is only a recording 🙁
Lem is turning over in his grave. He famously disliked the films. This is a whole new level of suck.
Two positive notes:
The set is phenomenal. Holy crap. The designer is a genius. Absolutely gobsmacking amazing. (Though I recently read a review of something that waxed lyrical about the set and said that’s how you know the play is bad–the best part is the set).
The other thing is the theme. Lem also famously complained that all Solaris films focused more on human emotion and less on our inability to understand other intelligence. The play is written to underline the latter heavy-handedly, but it gets lost in poor acting.
Standing ovation at the end of the show. Critics will love it I bet. What a croak.
Cheapskate enjoyment value: £0. Would’ve been -£5, but it was worth seeing the set.
Upd 15 Oct: The evening standard gave Solaris a 4-star review. Told you they’d love it 🙁 They say “Ray” is played with vigour and wit. Holy #%^*.
Most others are 3 stars.