When I walked into the Lyric Theatre at The Lowry to watch The Boy With Tape on his Face, I really was not sure what to expect. I was aware that Sam Wills was a prop comic and I knew that this show would be performed with tape firmly stuck across his mouth. Normally, I would research but a theatre friend had told me that the less I knew about The Boy With Tape on his Face – the more I would enjoy it.
Having won the prestigious Edinburgh Comedy Award Panel Prize in 2012, Wills has recently made the final of America’s Got Talent and has just announced that he has a 7-week residency at the Garrick Theatre, London through summer 2017. His humour is perfectly simple, laden with wit and thoroughly charming – it’s easy to understand why the show with no words has managed to get everybody else talking. Recently, he has renamed the show Tape Face.
As the show opens we find Tape Face in a setting resembling backstage at the theatre, presumably he is waiting for his call to perform. He rests in a tatty old armchair, listens to the wireless and takes the occasional cat nap. Luckily for us, his curtain call never comes and his own show begins to play out.
Audience participation is the key with this show and Tape Face manages to drive plenty of unsuspecting audience members to the stage. One of the great delights of his act is the way that he conveys feelings with a look – a cheeky shake of the head or an intense raise of the eyebrows. Using everyday objects he creates mini comic sketches which are fascinating to watch – one being a western style shootout reenacted with staples and balloons.
As each unknowing punter is plucked from their chair to join Tape Face on the stage they are particularly good sports. There is only admiration for the chap who finds himself auditioning for The Full Monty and the poor fellow who keeps finding himself brought up to the stage only to be sent back down again.
Tape Face has a wonderful universal appeal about it – there are no language barriers because there are no words. I’ve deliberately written this review without going into too much detail about the show because I believe the less you know – the more you will enjoy it…
For Tape Face’s full tour listings click here. These listing include London’s Garrick Theatre from 6 June 2017.