Actress Karina Jones will head the cast of Frederick Knott’s thriller /drama Wait Until Dark when it plays Cardiff’s New Theatre next week.
Set amidst the social turbulence of 1960s London, Wait Until Dark follows the story of Suzy, a blind woman (who, left alone in her apartment, becomes the victim of an elaborate scam hatched by a group of conmen. Left to fend for herself, Suzy eventually finds a way to turn the tables on the conmen and give them a taste of life in the dark.
Wait until Dark was adapted as a film starring Audrey Hepburn in 1966. This new stage version however, takes a step closer to authenticity by featuring an actress in the lead that is visually impaired.
Registered blind at the age of thirteen, Karina Jones studied ballet and acting before taking a BA in English and Drama at Hope University Liverpool. A desire for adventure took her to Egypt and Istanbul where she trained as an authentic belly dancer, a skill which supported her through her MA at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. After further training with Graeae and Greentop Circus.
“It’s never been done with a visually impaired actor playing the blind character in it,” Karina recently told Andy Howells, “The director did an audition for lots of visually impaired actors. I was recommended by someone and I got recalled.
“I think they wanted to use someone who was visually impaired because that’s the way theatres are going now. It’s not good enough anymore having someone pretending to be disabled. They really took the leap and went for someone who I believe can give more to a role because I’m genuinely visually impaired, I think I can definitely make it more believable and more convincing because that’s my reality.”
Karina is now one of the very few successful visually impaired and classically trained actresses to have a parallel career as an international aerial circus performer. Recently she belly danced for the world’s press outside 10 Downing Street to highlight disability rights issues. Karina, who lives in Llandudno has also been nominated for this year’s Welsh Diversity Awards as a positive role model.
Joining Karina in the play, which runs at Cardiff’s New Theatre from Tuesday November 14 – Saturday November 18 are Jack Ellis, who starred in Prime Suspect and Bad Girls and Coronation Street star Oliver Mellor.
“It’s a thriller in the true sense of the word,” says Karina, “It’s a good story and a roller coaster night at the theatre if you like a good drama and a good thriller you will really like this!”
- Tickets are available on 029 2087 8889 and newtheatrecardiff.co.uk.