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Blind Panic by Sightless Cinema Network with Ciarán Taylor

Theatre: Blind Panic by Sightless Cinema Network with Ciarán Taylor at

18 - 28 Nov 2023, 12:00 am - 12:00 am (Past)

Solstice Arts Centre Navan, The Civic Theatre Tallaght & Dunamaise Arts Centre Portlaoise

Blind Panic is a fun and fear-filled evening of short audio theatre thrillers in the dark, performed by a cast of 25 people with sight loss from three counties, with live music by Steve Wickham (Waterboys). Optional blindfolds provided.

With events on:

18 November Solstice Arts Centre Navan 7:30pm

23 November The Civic Theatre Tallaght 7:30pm

28 November Dunamaise Arts Centre Portlaoise 7:30pm

Ash (Sightless Cinema Meath) is set in a haunted country lodge guest house during a thunder storm. In The Visitor (Sightless Cinema Laois) Laura finds her new house has a frightening history. Horse and No Jockey (Sightless Cinema Tallaght) is a madcap comic mystery on a blind weekend away. The evening ends with ‘Are You Blind or What?’ a live radio drama with live sound effects and music performed by all three groups.

Since 2015 Sightless Cinema has presented seven original programmes of surround sound plays at the Lighthouse Cinema and IMC Cinema and most recently at Solstice Arts Centre Navan in January. They have also produced online comedies The Covid Tapes and Ballymuck Exchange – a telephone comedy

Sightless Cinema Network is a collaboration between South Dublin, Meath and Laois County Council Arts Offices, and theatre artist Ciarán Taylor, in partnership with Solstice Arts Centre, Dunamaise Arts Centre and The Civic Theatre, with Vision Ireland (formerly National Council of the Blind of Ireland).

It is funded by the The Arts Council under the Invitation to Collaboration Scheme.

About Sightless Cinema:

Sightless Cinema is a collaborative arts project for people with sight loss to devise and produce audio theatre. It was first established in 2015 under the direction of theatre-maker Ciarán Taylor. 2023 sees a major expansion of the project, offering opportunities for blind and visually impaired people to get involved in the arts locally, and also work with other groups in the Leinster region.

In an exciting initiative this year, South Dublin, Meath and Laois County Council Arts Offices have formed a partnership to establish the Sightless Cinema Network, in co-operation with partner venues in each county, and with funding from the Arts Council’s An Invitation to Collaborate Scheme. The Sightless Cinema project has been based at Rua Red Arts Centre Tallaght since 2017. New in-person projects began at Solstice Arts Centre, Navan in 2022, followed by the Portlaoise group in 2023. The three groups will collaborate on a joint touring production of recorded and live audio plays, which will tour in November 2023 to Solstice Arts Centre on 18th; Civic Theatre Tallaght on 23rd; and Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise on 28th. The project is also training more collaborative theatre artists to keep the expansion going.

The three groups have been visiting each other to devise ideas for the production and rehearse the performance, helping building a network of relationships among the blind community. Project director Ciarán Taylor says: ‘we’ve set ourselves the challenge of collaborating across the Leinster region. Mobility and travel are big challenges for people with sight loss, but shouldn’t stand in the way of full participation in culture. We hope to establish a model for arts participation for people with disabilities, to build demand for more opportunities to experience the arts, and to pave the way for a national network of Sightless Cinemas’

Since starting in 2015 Sightless Cinema has presented six original programmes of surround sound plays at the Lighthouse Cinema and IMC Cinemas. In 2020 the group moved online to devise and record lockdown comedy The Covid Tapes, which was a great hit with listeners online. They then recorded Ballymuck Exchange -a telephone comedy, for presentation at a successful listening event in Civic Theatre Tallaght for Culture Night 2021.

During the pandemic online workshops for blind people were also offered in Meath, Carlow, West Meath and Laois with support from County Council Arts Offices and the National Council for the Blind of Ireland. These fun creative and sociable workshops helped combat the isolation felt acutely by the blind community at that time.

In 2022, an ambitious new departure for Sightless Cinema was the production of In the Dark, an immersive surround sound experience where the audience wear blindfolds, and all the sound effects are created live by the blind performers. It brought to life dramatic turning points in the lives of five people who are blind or visually impaired. The show had three successful performances at Rua Red, Tallaght in June 2022, and went on to tour to Draiocht, Blanchardstown in October. Plans are taking shape to tour this production again in Spring 2024.

The Arts

accessible performances
Blind Cinema
Sightless Cinema Network