Fringe Review: ‘Hysterical Blindness’

Hysterical Blindness.

Justin Purvis’s solo show Hysterical Blindness is part stand up, part improv, and part autobiography. As a comedian, Purvis has a likeable personality and a good rapport with his audience. As a storyteller he is equally endearing.

Purvis takes us on a 55-minute journey through being raised the son of military parents, being a Boy Scout and going to auditions at an early age. Purvis is also coping with a disease called Choroideremia which slowly deteriorates your peripheral vision. Purvis says he will be totally blind by age 40.

‘Hysterical Blindness’ is a definite show to check out.

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This show does not, however, fall into the trap of the audience having to feel sorry for Justin. Actually there is no reason to feel sorry for him. Purvis has done quite well for himself as a performer. He is a company member of Washington Improv Theatre and Faction of Fools. He has just completed a documentary called “Driving Blind,” in which he and his brother who also suffers from Choroideremia set out on a road trip around the periphery of the country. The hope is for the film to be seen soon in film festivals around the country.

Hysterical Blindness tells the story of a very talented man who does not let blindness get in the way of doing what he loves. With audience participation, Purvis’s sparkling personality, and a well put together story. Hysterical Blindness is a definite show to check out.

Running Time: 55 minutes

Advisory: recommended for children 13 and above.  Contains profanity.

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About Elliot Lanes

Elliot Lanes has been a professional stage manager/sound designer/board op for over 20 years. After relocating to Washington, DC from the New York City area and marrying the girl of his dreams Jennifer Perry, he has been privileged to work on productions at Theatre J, Synetic, Prince George's Community College and Studio Theater to name a few. He has contributed designs for many shows in the last three Capital Fringe Festivals, two of which garnered critical raves. He is also the creator of MD Theatre Guide's highly successful 'A Quick 5' column.