BATS Theatre, The Random Stage, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington

16/10/2021 - 16/10/2021

NZ Improv Festival 2021

Production Details

Blind/Sighted is the story of a unique library, a library of moments, mystery, and games played in surprising ways. 

Books are portals to other spaces and times, whether you read them with your eyes, track them with your fingers, hear them with your ears, or follow their essence in a fast paced, joyful improv show. 

“Accessible, character driven, whimsical and entertaining” – Theatreview

Blind/Sighted is a celebration of mixed improv skill levels, and the wonderful world hidden in libraries. Oh, and half the cast are blind or have low vision.

The NZ Improv Festival returns with its annual celebration of improvised theatre in all its forms. From comedy to drama, musicals to mystery, and plenty of mischief, there’s something for everyone. Eighteen unique shows over five days at the wonderful BATS Theatre – don’t miss a moment!

BATS Theatre, The Random Stage
16 October 2021
The Difference $40
Full Price $20
Group 6+ $18
Concession Price $15

The Random Stage is fully wheelchair accessible; please contact the BATS Box Office by 4.30pm on the show day if you have accessibility requirements so that the appropriate arrangements can be made. Read more about accessibility at BATS.

The NZ Improv Fest takes place at BATS Theatre
Performance programme 12-16 October 2021
Workshops 8-16 October 2021
Learn more at

Theatre , Improv ,

1 hr

Entertaining and unique

Review by Margaret Austin 17th Oct 2021

I’ve been to see many improvisation performances – but never one like this! Because ‘see’ is the operative word, and half the improvisers onstage at Bats  Random can’t. They’re either blind, or they’ve got low vision. ‘Vision impaired’ is a new expression to me and I’m taking it on board. 

I’m taking on board a lot else as well. The set looks like a comfortable living room with well stacked bookshelves being the main feature. Ten performers enter, two with distinctive white sticks, and they begin by setting up a curious collective hum, whistle, rustle, beep. Ah, but that’s a soundscape I learn later.

A soundscape that represents a library. And that’s where we are – in an intergalactic travelling library in fact, presided over by chief librarian Susan Williams. We’re going to get an introduction to new books from various genres, and these intros will be done in a particular way. They are based on accessibility, for both performers and visually impaired audience members, and this provides a unique aspect.

The evening is a veritable showcase of improvisation techniques. You’d maybe have to know them to recognise them. Such a technique is “Yes, and…”, demonstrated by two experts on sci-fi discussing the merits of a teleporter. Then there’s the “pick-up line”, where participants drop an unexpected and totally inappropriate comment into the dialogue with hilarious effect. A pop-up story book gives us travelling in Wellington according to an audio script. 

Improvisations are done in pairs with a sighted, more experienced improviser accompanying one less so. The audience reacts with gusto and offers suggestions when asked. I always get the idea that those who call out improvisational ideas are not far from taking the stage themselves!

Congratulations to Susan Williams (director), Roger Sanders (music), Wiremu Tuhiwai, Tristram Domican, Gitta Majunder, Lyndon Hood, Mary Fisher, Renee Patete, Georgia Steel, Roamen Humphris and Jen O’Sullivan (lighting operator) for an entertaining and unique theatrical experience. 


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