The Donmar Warehouse today announced the extension of the critically acclaimed socially distanced sound installation – Blindness, with new installations added from 24 August – 5 September 2020 following a sold-out run.
Blindness is based on the dystopian novel by Nobel-prize winning José Saramago, adapted by Simon Stephens and directed by Walter Meierjohann. This innovative ticketed installation for a limited number of visitors runs four times a day, with seating arranged 2m apart in accordance with social distancing guidelines in a transformed Donmar Warehouse.
As the lights change at a major crossroads in a city in the heart of Europe a car grinds to a halt. Its driver can drive no more. Suddenly, without warning or cause, he has gone blind. Within hours it is clear that this is a blindness like no other. This blindness is infectious. Within days an epidemic of blindness has spread through the city. The government tries to quarantine the contagion by herding the newly blind people into an empty asylum. But their attempts are futile. The city is in panic.
Acclaimed stage and screen actor Juliet Stevenson has received plaudits for her narration as the voice of the Storyteller/Doctor’s wife. Visitors listen on headphones to this gripping story of an unimaginable global pandemic – and its profoundly hopeful conclusion – told through an immersive sound design using binaural technology by Ben and Max Ringham. The Donmar Warehouse is reimagined by designer Lizzie Clachan, with atmospheric lighting designed by Jessica Hung Han Yun.
Enhanced safety measures have been used to ensure the health and safety of all visitors to the Donmar. Visitors are seated 2m apart in accordance with social distancing requirements unless they attend with someone from their household or social bubble. All visitors are required to wear a face covering throughout their visit (medical exemptions permitted) as do all Donmar staff. The bar areas are closed and there is a one-way system around the building, with visitors, asked to queue in line with social distancing. There are sanitising points throughout the building and the headphones, seats, toilets and public areas are thoroughly cleaned between each installation.
Audio-described content is available at every installation. An audio-described or captioned digital version of the installation is also available for purchase for those not able to attend in person.
Tickets are now on sale via the Donmar Warehouse’s website. Up to 2 tickets can be purchased per transaction. When you arrive at the venue you will be seated by Front of House staff in accordance with social distancing. If you are purchasing two tickets you should ensure you are attending only with someone in your household or social bubble as you will be seated together. If you are attending on your own you will be seated in a single seat.
To accompany the installation the Donmar podcast ‘Reclaiming Blindness’ is available to download. Simon Stephens interviews Prof. Hannah Thompson to unpack the representations of blindness in Blindness – both the novel and this adaptation. They take the long view across centuries of literature whilst discussing the exciting possibilities for creatively centering the non-visual in theatre today.
Find out more below!