Sensational space odyssey now on stage

Alexander Wiegold’s attempt to create a gripping stage version of Stanislaw Lem’s famous novel “Solaris” can be considered as a full success.

All members of the cast of the theatre production – now on at the Burgtheater’s Vestibül stage – perform on a high level but it is Oliver Masucci’s engagement which sticks out. Masucci is excellent in playing the leading role of Kris Kelvin, a psychologist lost in a mysterious and dreamlike environment far away from earth. Masucci excels in displaying the complex mixture of feelings Kelvin experiences when his dead wife starts appearing in front of him on a regular basis.

The small Vestibül stage is the ideal setting for the exciting play which benefits from the actors’ superb performances and a careful implementation of video installations and sound effects. News emphasised the achievements of Ignaz Kirchner who, according to the magazine, does an excellent job in “Solaris” in “representing the evil and demonic of science”. The Tiroler Tageszeitung praised Wiegold’s “clever and impressive” stage adaption as a trip worth going on.

The Akademietheater is also associated with the Burgtheater. “Winterreise”, a play based on a text by Nobel Prize in Literature laureate Elfriede Jelinek is currently on at the theatre located near Schwarzenberg Square. Barbara Petritsch, Dorothee Hartinger, Gerrit Jansen and others star in the acclaimed new production directed by Stefan Bachmann.

“Winterreise” was named as Play of the Year in a critics’ poll in 2011. Bachmann managed to create a “brilliant production”, according to Die Presse. The Viennese newspaper also made aware of the “fantastic impassions and actors” of “Winterreise” while German magazine Focus described the play as “touching and very personal”.

Petritsch has performed in leading and supporting roles in some of the Burgtheater’s best productions of the past and present, including “Stallerhof” written by Franz Xaver Kroetz and directed by David Bösch. The drama play about a mentally handicapped girl’s traumatic experiences on a farm was on at the Burgtheater’s Kasino stage some years ago. It was now transferred to the more spacious Akademietheater due to the immense demand for tickets. The performances of award-winning actress Sarah Viktoria Frick and “Revanche” star Johannes Krisch are simply magnificent.

“Eine Mittsommernachts-Sex-Komödie” (A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy) starring Michael Maertens and Roland Koch, “Endstation Sehnsucht” (A Streetcar Named Desire) and “Professor Bernhardi” are also drawing the crowds at the Burgtheater in the current season. For a detailed schedule, go to