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Published Monday 19 November 2012 at 11:31 by Jonathan Watson

Solaris is a Stanislaw Lem novel from 1961, one that helped invent sci fi. It then spawned two circuitous, mind-bending sci fi films, both delicious eye candy for their time.

The elements of the original story are here - why we are obsessed with space travel, what it means when humans push their expectations too far in this galaxy, our relative value in this expansive universe.

But the way the play has been put together is difficult to follow and so maintaining an interest is agonising.

The set is like the inside of a cheaply made tent with neon lights - and believing it is a space ship in outer space is in nigh-on impossible.

The actors’ emotions are overblown. Charles Church in the lead failed to convince and John Exell appeared to be attempting to fuse Gene Wilder and Eric Idle - and succeeding.

And the script? It’s difficult to follow and overly knotty and too sophisticated for its own good.

It would be hard to imagine all members of the audience staying for a whole performance. Perhaps those who do stay can make sense of this - “If an elephant is a microbe then the earth is not a giant brain.”

Either way, the production puts a whole new meaning on the idea of being lost in space.

Production information

Courtyard, London, November 14-December 8

Stanislaw Lem, Dimitri Devdariani
Dimitri Devdariani
Tim Gill, Rupert Holloway, Louis McConnell, Charles Church
Cast includes:
Charles Church, John Exell
Running time:
2hrs 30mins

Production information displayed was believed correct at time of review. Information may change over the run of the show.

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Run sheet

King's Head, Islington London
January 24-February 15 2014