The prestigious London theatre, the Donmar Warehouse, is to re-open temporarily this August with a socially distanced sound installation based on the novel Blindness by José Saramago. Professor Hannah Thompson, Professor of French and Critical Disability Studies, and a specialist in the representation of blindness, is acting a consultant for the production.
The installation, adapted by Simon Stephens and directed by Walter Meierjohann, will be voiced by actor Juliet Stevenson. This hour-long ticketed installation for a limited number of visitors will run four times a day, with seating arranged 2m apart in accordance with social distancing guidelines in a transformed Donmar Warehouse, and promises to be a unique and exciting event.
Professor Thompson is the author of Reviewing Blindness in French Fiction (1789-2013) (Palgrave, 2017) and is currently writing about how audio description (the verbal provision of visual information for blind people) can help us understand literary depictions of paintings in nineteenth-century novels by authors including Zola, Balzac and the Goncourt brothers as well as how these descriptions might inform audio description practices in UK and French museums and galleries.
At the production of Blindness audio-described content will be available at every installation from Friday 7 August, and there will be a captioned installation at 2pm on Saturday 15 August. An audio-described or captioned digital version of the installation will also be available for purchase for those not able to attend in person.