Tom Skelton: Blind Man's Bluff
- Brian Donaldson
- 25 August 2017
Over-complicated details mar an entertaining and enlightening show about blindness
Blind Man's Bluff is a show looking at VIPs through history: that's visually impaired persons. Part of the improv group Racing Minds, Tom Skelton delivers his debut solo show, a very personal exploration of sight loss in famous people as well as his own scenario which first arrived a decade ago and has left him with only peripheral vision. Set up as a lecture series, a doctor tells us the story of a patient called Tom Skelton, as characters flit in and out (it feels like an unnecessarily complicated construct but doesn't spoil the show's enjoyment too much).
With such a variety of historical people to be played (Samson, Gordon Brown and Paralympian Libby Clegg for three), Skelton has fun getting in and out of his costumes before us. Maintaining taste and decorum, he notes that playing Stevie Wonder or Ray Charles might have proved an insensitive step too far. Skelton's love of a corny pun is given free rein here, but more crucially in terms of language, he shows how easy it could be to potentially put your foot in it around a blind person: 'look' or 'I see' being everyday words that could cause some awkwardness. An enlightening hour and with a few tweaks, it could have been a great one.
Underbelly Med Quad, until 28 Aug, 4.30pm, £9–£10 (£8–£9).