There’s a fascinating play doing the rounds in London at the moment, courtesy of the Arcola Theatre in East London. The play, called The Blind, by Maurice Maeterlinck, is about blind people.

This production, by up and coming director Jack McNamara (the man behind Don Delillo’s Valparaiso’s UK premiere in 2006) also features an entirely blind cast.

In a play that, as many critics put it, scopes the restrictions and limitations we all face or impose/have imposed on ouselves in society, or even microcosmically within small groups, the live rendering of the action with real-life blind people powerfully reflects the divide between characters, as well as the divide between audience and actors. By definition, the audience can see – well, in terms of their role, maybe some of them ARE blind.

However, one thing is certain – the “fourth wall” between stage and seat is made almost palpable by the fact that as you stare into the actor’s space, no-one is staring back.

Or if they are, they wouldn’t know it.

Here’s a piece that ran on ABC in Australia featuring interviews with McNamara and Tim Gebbels.

The Blind is playing at The Arcola, London.

Advertisements