Visually impaired comedian Tom Skelton is performing his show 2020 Visions: What if I hadn’t Gone Blind? in Oxford in July, as a preview to his Edinburgh Fringe run in August.
As the title suggests, the show looks back at the last decade since he lost most of his sight in 2010 due to a genetic condition and explores regrets, what ifs, and realities of life as a VIP (visually impaired person).
Tom started his comedy career here in Oxford as a member of the Oxford Imps, and his comedy challenges perceptions about disability and represents the daily struggles and amusements of living with low vision in a way that blind and partially sighted people can often recognise. In 2020, the show won the Perth Fringe World weekly comedy award, sold out its entire run at New Zealand Fringe and received 5 star reviews at Adelaide Fringe.
Could you see the funny side to going blind? Twelve years on from losing most of his sight, Tom Skelton ‘looks’ back at over a decade of being blind and wonders what might have been. Exploring his regrets, the what-ifs and the realities of life as a VIP (Visually Impaired Person), Skelton ruefully imagines his sighted-self going on to shape the last few years of history. But would the Tom from 2022 really swap places with fantasy Tom with 20:20 vision?
Tom first noticed some loss of sight at the Edinburgh Fringe when fellow performers on stage became blurry. His sight quickly deteriorated and he was soon diagnosed with Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (a genetic eye condition that runs in his family), leaving him with 5% vision.
Tom’s 2017 Edinburgh solo show Blind Man’s Bluff, which he went on to perform at Perth Fringe World and Melbourne International Comedy Festival, examined his own blindness and disability as well as the history of blindness, and his follow up show, Blind Eye Spy, imagined an improbable adventure in his future as a blind spy in post-Brexit Berlin. Now Tom looks at the decade in between with both blind reality and sighted fantasy.
Tom has performed at the Fringe for many years as part of the fantastic improv shows Adventures of the Improvised Sherlock Holmes and Racing Minds. He has also starred in the BAFTA-award winning History Bombs, and children’s show Did You Hear What I Saw? explored Tom’s relationship with his best friend and fellow comedian Tom GK, who happens to have hearing loss, and a show at this year’s festival.
Oxford Show Details
Tuesday 5th July 19:00
The Jericho Tavern
56 Walton St, Oxford OX2 6AE
Edinburgh Show Details
VENUE: Daisy – Underbelly Med Quad, Teviot Place, EH8 9AG
DATES: Weds 3rd August-Sun 28th August (not Weds 17th…)
Facebook: @TomSkeltonComedy /Instagram: tom_skelton
★★★★★ “Insightful, hilarious…an expertly crafted narrative” TULPA
★★★★ ½ “An utterly endearing performance by a man inviting us into his vulnerability. It is a delight to behold” SCENESTR
“A deftness of delivery and a confidence in his reception that would make fellow storytellers envious” NEW ZEALAND THEATRE REVIEW
★★★★ “Skelton is f***ing funny” THE FUNNY TONNE
“A brilliant storyteller… Skelton is hilarious and humble. His light-hearted take on what he’s achieved in the last ten years will make you laugh – and think” STAGE WHISPERS
★★★ “An extremely clever one-man show that cries out for a bigger stage” EDINBURGH FESTIVALS MAGAZINE
★★★★ “Uniquely lovable both as a person and an artist” THE FOURTH WALL (Australia)
“Extremely funny, clever and original” WEEKEND NOTES (Australia)
“Sends you back out into the world with a spring in your step” CHORTLE
“Deliciously talented” THE GUARDIAN
“An extraordinary performer” RIP IT UP (Australia)