The Donmar Warehouse will reopen temporarily in August with a socially distanced sound installation featuring the voice of Juliet Stevenson.
Blindness, based on novel by José Saramago, is adapted by Simon Stephens and directed by Walter Meierjohann.
The hour-long ticketed installation will run four times a day, with seating arranged two metres apart in accordance with social distancing guidelines in “a transformed Donmar Warehouse”.
All visitors will be required to wear a face covering throughout their visit, as will all Donmar staff.
The bar areas will be closed and there will be a one-way system around the building, with visitors asked to queue in line with social distancing. There will also be sanitising points throughout the building and “the headphones, seats, toilets and public areas will be thoroughly cleaned between each installation”, the theatre said.
The production will feature an immersive sound design using binaural technology by Ben and Max Ringham.
The Donmar Warehouse’s space is being reimagined by designer Lizzie Clachan, with lighting designed by Jessica Hung Han Yun.
Artistic director Michael Longhurst said: “Reading Simon’s version of Saramago’s extraordinary allegory about a government’s and society’s response to a pandemic, I knew this was a story we had to tell immediately. With indoor live performance not yet permitted, and social distancing measures reducing capacity, I am proud that the Donmar has risen to the challenge of producing work at this time.”
He added: “This immersive sound installation makes a virtue of these restrictions inspiring our artists to find the apposite form for this story. Utilising Juliet Stevenson’s astonishing talent as a recording artist, and the binaural wizardry of the Ringham brothers, it re-centres and celebrates this event as a non-visual experience. Our theatre has lain empty for so long, so I am delighted we can gather there for a unique and accessible experience after the isolation of Covid-19.”
Anyone booking two seats must ensure they attend with someone in their household or social bubble and be seated together. Anyone attending solo will be seated in a single seat.