Past Event11 May - 16 May 2021


No longer available

Concert Chamber, Auckland Town Hall


“An exquisitely told story of resilience, violence and hope” ── ★★★★ The Guardian

This May, Auckland Town Hall’s Concert Chamber will become the theatrical epicentre of a society sent into free fall by a pandemic. A brilliantly unnerving experience that will have you on the edge of your seat.

Based on Nobel Laureate José Saramago’s sinister novel Blindness and adapted for the stage by Tony Award-winning playwright Simon Stephens, this stunning production from London’s renowned Donmar Warehouse debuted in front of the first live theatre audience following the UK’s first Covid-19 lockdown. It sold out.

The Experience
Listen through headphones to a gripping narration by Laurence Olivier Award-winning actress Juliet Stevenson (Truly Madly, Deeply; Bend it Like Beckham; Being Julia), in physically distanced pairs and under glowing fluorescent lights in a theatre as you’re plunged into thick, heavy blackness.

The Narrative
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. Without warning or cause, he has gone blind. Within hours, it is clear that this is a blindness like no other. 

Within days the epidemic 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.

Blindness is no ordinary theatrical experience, but then we live in extraordinary times.

Listen to narrator Juliet Stevenson talk about her involvement in the show with RNZ National’s Kim Hill here.


Post-show conversation
As an adjunct to Auckland Writers Festival & Auckland Live’s presentation of the Donmar Warehouse’s production of Blindness, join disability advocate Martine Abel-Williamson, legally blind writer Steff Green and The University of Auckland Dean of the Faculty of Arts Dr. Robert Greenberg for a post-performance conversation about the controversy surrounding Saramago’s novel of the same name because of its negative representations of blindness, and the ways in which society privileges sight / the visual. 

This conversation will take place on Friday May 14 at 3.30pm (immediately following the 2.15pm performance) in the Supper Room of the Auckland Town Hall, and is free to attend.

Auckland Writers Festival 2021:

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