‘Solaris’, Federica Rosellini, an astronaut between mirages and souls, who embraces stage and audience

Beware of you, if you set foot in these hours, until November 28th, in the rear part of the stalls of the Mercadante Theater in Naples, the only accessible area of ​​the hall in addition to the boxes, to attend Solaris in the adaptation of David Greig from the novel of the same name Stanislaw Lem, a show by the director Andrea De Rosa with text translated by Monica Capuani and with a cast-crew formed by Federica Rosellini, Giulia Mazzarino, Sandra Toffolatti e Werner Waas, and with Umberto Orsini in video.

If you are spectators of this intense and interstellar work accompanied by films taken from archival materials of the European Space Agency granted by Esa / Nasa, if you witness this astronomical odyssey produced by the Teatro di Napoli and Teatro di Genova whose considerable sophisticated system occupies the stage and half of the theater, do not think you have a close relationship with one of the Martian chronicles of Ray Bradbury, or with a science fiction novel by James G. Ballard. No, you will enter a bubble, in a strip of the universe, in a phenomenon of future human consciousness, but also and above all in the disturbing and captivating iteration of an idea, of a literary (we mean intellectual?) Feeling applied to space. internal and external of terrestrial beings projected towards infinity, tomorrow, the future that awaits us.

The remodulations of Solaris they start from the dystopian work written in 1961 by the Polish Stanislaw Lem, with a first Soviet television transposition of 1968, an initial stir for the film version of the Russian director Andrej Tarkovsky from 1972, a second adaptation for the big screen by the American Steven Soderbergh in 2002 (where, in another solar system, the interactive role of the ‘living ocean’ of the planet Solaris retreats in favor of the plot of an interpersonal relationship), and then we move on to the theatrical adoption of the theme and scene, with dramaturgy by the Scotsman David Greig and staging by Australian director Matthew Lutton in Melbourne and in 2019 in Edinburgh. On the version of Greig, with the Italian of Monica Capuani, ours acted in turn Andrea De Rosa, intervening (in agreement with the adapter) on an identity, changing the gender of a character, Ray, from masculine to feminine, with the great advantage of a corporate discourse, rather than of feelings.

Given these premises, the show is a story entirely set in a space station that studies, very far from us, an aquatic planet, also made up of gas. The psychoanalyst arrives Kris Kelvin charged with closing the experiment and arranging for its return after a strange silence, one Federica Rosellini tempered, rational and fluid as she knows how to be, understanding as an ultramundane creature and at the same time aware of taking charge of personal relationships. He comes out of his diving suit and begins a dialogue with Snow, a mission employee, a Werner Waas of ancient intergalactic, conciliatory and rigorous mold. In the upper part of the scene begins to develop the silent sequence of a circular vision, as from a porthole, of otherworldly landscapes, simulating hypnotic glimpses of the planet, images of stunning beauty. We audience are inside the welcoming ogive that controls Solaris, we look out on a blue or sometimes red skyline. We learn that an envoy from the science team has died of cancer, or perhaps by suicide. We will learn that the planet is to be considered invaded by these humans, and that in any case it tries to dialogue with them through objects, anatomies and visitors that seem real but are only ‘representations’ of creatures loved and thought by astronauts: Snow’s missing mother, the Sartorius’ dead child daughter who here in the platform is physically rendered (with scientific frugality) by Sandra Toffolatti.

The materialization that goes towards the ordinary psychology Kris Kelvin is that of Ray, an oceanographic scholar who years earlier came into confidence and intimacy with her: now he recalls her common practices, makes her hear CDs, shows her the affection interrupted in the past, but in fact it is visible and communicative even though it does not exist. It’s a kind of hologram. That’s not all. Even the head of the Gibarian team appears, although deceased, in various clips of a video that portrays the mature and fascinating features and the austere and amazingly charismatic voice of Umberto Orsini, in the act of recommending, of testifying, of passing on. It happens that Ray is cornered by the occupants of the platform, always escaping. It happens that the interferences of the concrete inhabitants of the spaceship come to terms with the Ray mirage given by Solaris. It happens that the psychoanalyst, although aware of Ray’s virtuality, draws such comfort from him that she never wants to return to earth. The waves, the water, the insubstantiality of Solaris are better than real life. Here, thanks to a fantastic hold of the senses directed by Andrea De Rosa, of the sets by Simone Mannino, of the lights of Pasquale Mari, videos of D-Wok, of the music of GUP Alcaro.

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