First published in The Times, Monday September 16 2019
The best-known novel by the Polish science-fiction writer Stanislaw Lem is a story that never dies. Solaris, which depicts a group of scientists attempting contact with a seemingly sentient planet, has been filmed three times, notably by the Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky in 1972 and Steven Soderbergh in 2002, and has been adapted several times for theatre and opera.
First published in The Times, Tuesday January 17 2017
The title is perhaps most familiar to international audiences from Peter Weir’s acclaimed 1975 film adaptation. For this stage version, Tom Wright, the playwright, has returned for inspiration to Joan Lindsay’s source novel, about a trio of Australian schoolgirls who, along with their elderly teacher, vanish without trace while on a Valentine’s Day outing in 1900. The production, from Melbourne’s Malthouse Theatre and Black Swan State Theatre Company, directed by Matthew Lutton, is flawed, at times overwrought, but at its best it provokes the same shiver of disquiet as Weir’s woozily frightening movie.