The Boy with Tape on his Face (4 stars)

This article is from 2011

The Boy with Tape on his Face

Line up early for a mime with universal appeal

The Boy has become a victim of his own success. A word to the wise before we lose ourselves to unabashed gushing: if you want to see this show, turn up early and be prepared to queue, for someone here has made a grave error in their choice of space. For a show that rests so obviously on the visual, it is far too large, and the gentle rake of the seating makes for an uncomfortable frustrated meerkat effect in the whole rear third of the theatre.

It is to the credit, then, of the gaffer-taped Sam Wills, that he manages to detract from this with a swift hour of joyously innocent slapstick. With the low-slung satchel and loping gait of a schoolboy, he comes across like a particularly imaginative kid playing with the simplest of toys – plus a few pliant audience helpers – to build silent scenarios both familiar (slow dancing with his own arm) and bafflingly unexpected (a scene involving a plastic lion).

With an impish lift of the eyebrows or an exasperated wring of the hands, he conveys all he needs to hundreds of people, spreading the silliness of his delightful imagination all the way to the back of the room.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 28 Aug, 9.10pm, £10.50–£12.50 (£9.50–£11.50).

The Boy with Tape on his Face live in Edinburgh

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