- Arts & Literature
- Science & Technology
By Mona Damian
Fresh, inventive and fun: The Boy With Tape On His Face delighted the Oxford Glee Club. Without a single word, the Boy with Tape on his face (Sam Wills) invited the entire audience into his world of hilarious mime, puppetry and dance.
Undoubtedly, what makes this show such an engaging success is the constant inclusion of a more or less willing audience. Yet any trepidations of the Boy With Tape On His Face’s hand-picked participants may have initially had at every instruction delivered to them, purely through mime, were swiftly dispelled, once they and the rest of the audience were drawn into the Boy’s vibrant world, where a live bull fight came hand in hand with a quickly polished and perfected rendition of ballet.
Throughout the show, The Boy with Tape On His Face displays remarkable resourcefulness, toying with a few simple props to recreate everything from a free fallin’ helicopter to a stage version of some of the most memorable moments of Star Wars. Amongst the continuous comedy there is purely one sombre note- the Boy’s recurring reminder that his time on stage is far too short. But it is not just the ticking timer that keeps tension rife; certain sketches certainly recall the intensity (and skill, of both the Boy and his participants) of a circus performance, as the audience anticipates whether an impromptu session of air-borne golf can be truly successful, or awaits curiously to what next use the Boy’s continuous supply of balloons will be put.
Of course the audience’s attention is constantly drawn back to the Boy’s gaffer tape-concealed face. Yet, despite this obstruction, his facial expressions continually display his unspoken thoughts. The perfectly fitting choices of music also help to convey anything that might be lost with the absence of his voice, and often the impromptu use of puppetry joins in with this exhibition of fresh talent, that proves that mime truly has a place in the 21st century.
So anyone, who wants to be completely submerged in a vibrant comedy show, to follow (and potentially be an active assistant to) the fun should decidedly go and see The Boy With Tape On His Face, expecting to be wholly entertained, right up to the explosive finalé.
**** (Four stars)
The Boy With Tape On His Face performs regularly at the Duchess Theatre, London.