Stage Door News
Toronto: David Mirvish presents the Canadian premiere of “Blindness” beginning August 4, 2021
Tuesday, June 1, 2021
David Mirvish is pleased to present the Canadian premiere of the Donmar Warehouse production of Blindness, a socially distanced sound installation.
Blindness will be presented on the stage of the Princess of Wales Theatre beginning August 4, 2021 and will be the first indoor theatre presentation in Toronto since the pandemic shut down all theatres. Audiences will be limited to 50 people per performance and will be seated in pods of one or two. Everyone in attendance, including all staff, will be masked.
Tickets to Blindness will go on sale to the public on June 23, 2021. Details about the performance schedule and prices will be announced soon.
David Mirvish says: “We had planned to present Blindness in November 2020, but due to the second wave of Covid-19 we weren’t able to do it. However, now that the vaccination rollout is well under way, with almost 70% of Ontario’s adult population having had the first dose, and with the government having announced its three-step reopening plan, we are more confident than before that we will finally be able to put Blindness on the stage of the Princess of Wales Theatre in August – by which point we will be in step three of the reopening plan.
“As before, we’ve been working with the unions and associations that represent artists, technicians and arts workers to make sure the presentation of Blindness is safely and responsibly presented. We’ve also been working with the TELUS Medical Advisory Council (MAC), a team of Canadian medical experts who have been advising several large organizations in their efforts to prepare an informed, science-based, and compassionate pandemic response.
“We, of course, aren’t the only ones who have been trying to find safe solutions for theatre to restart. Our colleagues around the world have also been on this quest.
“The Donmar Warehouse in London came up with this brilliant and powerful way to adapt Nobel laureate José Saramago’s novel Blindness, itself about the effects of a pandemic on a community.
“Blindness was a resounding success in August and September 2020 at the Donmar, and since then other theatres around the world have taken the Donmar production and staged it locally.
“On April 6, 2021, the production opened to rave reviews at the Daryl Roth Theatre in New York, where its run continues open-ended. And just last week it began at Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC. Other international productions have been presented in Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Mexico City and Auckland. On May 28, the Donmar launched a UK national tour of the production at the Oxford Playhouse.
“Finally, it’s Canada’s turn and we are thrilled to be able to take this first step to re-energize the theatre community here, offering much-needed hope to arts workers and audiences alike.”
AT THE THEATRE:
• The show runs 75 minutes without an intermission.
• Each performance will be limited to 50 people.
• Every precaution will be taken to ensure that each audience member is safe and comfortable during this very special event.
• All audience members must wear a mask for the duration of their visit for this event.
• All audience members will be seated (socially distanced, in pairs and singles) on the immense stage of the Princess of Wales Theatre.
• Each person will be given sanitized headphones
through which they will be told the story by the illustrious stage, screen, TV and audiobook star Juliet Stevenson. The sound is designed to be binaural, making the work sound as if it were physically happening around you, putting you in the centre of the action.
Award-winning playwright Simon Stephens (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, for which he won both the Tony and Olivier awards for best play) has adapted Nobel Prize-winner José Saramago’s dystopian novel Blindness as a sound installation directed by Walter Meierjohann with immersive binaural sound design by Ben and Max Ringham. Juliet Stevensonvoices the Storyteller/Doctor’s wife in this gripping story of the rise and, ultimately, profoundly hopeful end of an unimaginable global pandemic.
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.
Blindness had its world premiere at London’s Donmar Warehouse in August 2020, where it received rave reviews and re-opened the theatre for audiences for the first time in over five months.
Blindness, a socially distanced sound installation with the voice of Juliet Stevenson, based on the novel by José Saramago, adapted by Simon Stephens, directed by Walter Meierjohann is a Donmar Warehouse Production.
The creative team includes: Sound Designers Ben and Max Ringham, Designer Lizzie Clachan, Lighting Designer Jessica Hung Han Yun, Production Consultant Professor Hannah Thompson and Resident Assistant Director Sara Aniqah Malik.
Performances begin August 4, 2021
On the Stage of the Princess of Wales Theatre – 300 King St. West Toronto, ON
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