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Edinburgh Fringe 2010

The Boy With Tape on His Face

Sam Wills

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Venue: Gilded Balloon


Low Down

 Billed as ‘mime with noise, stand-up with no talking and drama with no acting’, you’d be right not to know quite what to expect from ‘The Boy With Tape on His Face’.  But let me assure you, ‘The Boy’ is brilliantly beyond even the highest of expectations.  If you don’t book your ticket now, you’ll regret it forever.


 Quite a stir is being made by ‘The Boy with Tape on His Face’ who makes his UK debut at the Edinburgh Festival this year.  If you pop along to the Gilded Balloon this festival, one of the first things you’ll see is a poster already splashed with five 5 star reviews (one anticipates many more), and after seeing the show, it’s obvious why.

‘The Boy’ is Sam Wills, who graces Edinburgh from New-Zealand with a truck-load of awards, and an impeccably well-conceived show in tow.  Unfortunately any specifics revealed here really would be spoilers, so perhaps it would be best to describe the show simply as a platform for his brilliant mind.   With each scene ‘the Boy’ carefully sets up his desired effect with all the skill and loving perfectionism of a true artist.  The results are staggering.  This is a show that is charming and yet riotously funny; fantastically silly and yet beautifully constructed.  ‘The Boy’ is doing for mime what Derren Brown did for magic.

Amid the explosions of laughter, pleasing nods are also made to the rich heritage that Wills is drawing on: a world of mime, silent movies, Motown, and magic.  But it must be noted that Wills is far from merely rehashing the same old tired material, and this show has to be one of the greatest demonstrations of human creativity the Fringe has ever seen.  In every object Wills employs, worlds of possibilities are opened – as even the audience becomes his new plaything.

Amazingly, this show is precisely what it’s claiming to be: ‘mime with noise, stand-up with no talking and drama with no acting’.  Go and see the phenomenon.