Tom comes to NZ Fringe for the very first time in 2020 with his 2020 Visions (If I hadn't gone blind)!
Ten years on from losing most of his sight, Tom Skelton looks back at a decade of being blind and wonders what might have been. His 2020 visions explore 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 ten years of history, but would Tom from 2020 really swap places with fantasy Tom with 20:20 vision?
Tom developed Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (a genetic eye condition that runs in his family) ten years ago, leaving him with 5% vision, and first noticed some loss of sight at the Edinburgh Fringe, when fellow performers on stage became blurry, and he started to struggle to read the information on tickets.
His sight quickly deteriorated and he was diagnosed weeks later at the end of 2009. This obviously changed the next decade of Tom’s life irreversibly and in this show, Tom envisions the 2010s if he had not lost his sight and contrasts these dreams with the reality of living with his disability.
“Deliciously talented.” - The Guardian
"Extremely funny, clever and original.” - Weekend Notes
”An extremely clever one-man show that cries out for a bigger stage.” - Edinburgh Festivals Magazine
"An extraordinary performer.” - Rip It Up
”Uniquely lovable both as a person and an artist.” - Fourth Wall
“Sends you back out into the world with a spring in your step.” - Chortle
Tom first examined blindness and disability in his comedy when he told the story of his own sight loss and explored the history of blindness in his seminal show Blind Man’s Bluff, which had smash hit runs at Perth Fringe World, the Edinburgh Fringe and Melbourne International Comedy Festival. His follow up show, Blind Eye Spy, imagined an improbable adventure in his future as a blind spy in post-Brexit Berlin, and now Tom looks at the decade in between; both the blind reality and sighted fantasy.
This is Tom’s debut appearance at New Zealand Fringe and 2020 Visions (If I hadn't gone blind) is his sixth solo show overall after Foolball, the history of the greatest football (soccer!) club that never existed, 2016’s dystopian Orwellian satire 2061, Tom Skelton’s Macbeth, his one man take on ‘The Scottish Play’, Blind Man’s Bluff and Blind Eye Spy.
As heard on ABC Radio National. BBC Radio Four, Nova and RTR FM. Tom is also a founding member of Perth Fringe World Comedy Award nominees Racing Minds, comedy caperers Adventures of the Improvised Sherlock Holmes and improv giants The Big HOO-HAA! | Melbourne!