Tara’s special night with Adele

‘Hello’ – Tara in duet with Adele.

It was pandemonium. English singer-songwriter and international superstar Adele steps on stage and 45,000 people go off. Cheers, yelling, clapping, whistling, yahooing.

But this is Tauranga – 211.4km from Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland and 72 hours after the event.

Still, Mum, Christina Cruikshank, is in a flood of tears reliving the moment.

“She was beautiful, just so beautiful.”

No, not Adele, Tara. Because this is a Mum who was absolutely overjoyed and proud on a momentous night for a 24-year-old totally blind and autistic daughter, who fulfilled a dream by being in the stands last Saturday night.

“Aaaww Mum!”

There are tears, tissues, touching and tenderness. I would have gladly paid admission just to see this real live theatre going down right now.

Or perhaps Christina was talking about Adele. “I was really, really emotional,” says Christina. “I was telling Tara Adele had a beautiful red dress on.” And Tara was done up to the nines – she had a full face especially for the night, so we will never know who was more beautiful and who mum was talking about. It doesn’t really matter.

“And I was clapping and cheering,” says Tara.

But what did matter was Christina had been planning for this moment since 2011. That’s when Tara, totally blind and autistic, first heard ‘Rolling in the Deep’ on the radio. She was captured. And on Saturday a very protective, giving, loving mum delivered Adele to her daughter – 18 songs and two hours and 10 minutes of unforgettable moments.

“I was so excited for her because it’s always something she wanted to do.” And Tara even has the T-short to show for it. It’s been a second skin since Saturday night.

Did she want to sell it? “Nuh”. Ten dollars? “Nuh.” Fifty dollars, more than she paid? “Nuh.” It is no longer a T-shirt, it is an icon.

I asked Tara about the stage – the extraordinary labyrinth of lighting, screens and towers. She had no perception. So what of Adele herself?

“She wore a beautiful velvety red dress.” Christina had taken her through that on the night. But the atmosphere and music was hoovered up and absorbed to the point Tara didn’t sleep a wink after the show.

But what was a 24-year-old totally blind woman’s perception of Adele.

“She looks like me. Well, I don’t know that she looks like me but…

“She is tall and slender…like me. She has black hair…like me. And her voice, her beautiful singing voice.”

Her mother explains. “What she felt, heard and experienced is her own “precious personal interpretation of events”. It’s just as valid and enjoyable as anyone else’s. And the experience lives on.

Christina recorded Adele’s opening number on her mobile.

Hello, it’s me…” Tara launches into song, word perfect for the duration of the track. The interview with The Weekend Sun is over. Tara Cruikshank, dyed in the wool Adele fan, is someplace else. “I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet…” She has reverted to Mt Smart Stadium on Saturday night.

And if Adele had left one of her trademark notes under Tara’s seat on Saturday she might have suggested meeting. It might have read: “Kia Ora Tara. Thanks for coming to the show, it has been a blast. Thanks for the faith, thanks for being on this ride with me. And I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet?” One day, just maybe one day.

“Someone just needed to know about our experience,” says Christina. They do now – the 67,000 The Weekend Sun readers shared Christina and Tara’s special time.

Let’s test the faith, let’s up the ante. What about $100 for that $45 Adele T-shirt?

“I am not sure it’s a ‘Yes’ or a ‘No’,” says Tara.


Subscribe to our weekly Newsletter