The Boy With Tape on His Face projects traditional physical theatre into a new dimension making it bigger, faster and louder than ever before.
The Boy frantically constructs whole universes and situations with a flurry of props and actions, then destroys them once more with equal gusto. One second we are ensconced in a bull fight, another in precarious acro-balance, another minute a golf tournament, and the next a Star Wars re-enactment. Every scene is fun, cheeky, furiously fast paced, and pushes the limits of physical ability and safety. The whole room was entranced from the first second to the last.
The Boy (New Zealander Sam Wills) utilizes many performance styles from his bag of tricks; puppetry, mime, tremendous amounts of audience interaction, and more. He has the reflexes of a cat, and the started look of a possum. He plays the audience like a well-tuned fiddle. His mouth, as the name suggests, remains hidden behind a firmly attached piece of gaffa tape for the entire performance. But he clearly proves he doesn’t need words to effectively communicate with the audience. We were all completely within his control for the entire performance; each and every audience member selected for participation instantly obeying his every command, even as what the Boy asks of them grows increasingly more ludicrous and challenging. The Boy’s employment of audience participation pushes boundaries, which is both terrifying and exhilarating. Even at the most daring of moments the Boy expertly walks the fine line between hilarious and cruel; gaining maximum laughs and managing not to get the audience offside. We are more than conscious that we are watching a master at work.
This man sets the standard for physical theatre. This show is nothing short of spectacular. Every nuanced motion of the Boy’s act is met with perfectly executed lighting and music cues; enhancing the performance and forming its own set of punch-lines. The spectacular and climactic ending feels like a giant hug involving the entire audience.
This show has been a sell out around the world and The Boy is back in town. Get in to see him while you can!
More Tape is on til March 16 in The Vagabond tent at The Garden of Unearthly Delights.