Tape Face (4 stars)

This article is from 2017.

Tape Face

credit: Matt Crockett

Kiwi comic bids an entertaining farewell to some favourite routines

The power that Tape Face wields is almost tangible. How many other comedians could claim to have such a grip on their audience? As he strides through the throng plucking people out to take part in his exquisitely crafted onstage antics, there's never a chance that one of them will turn down his forced invitation: his tactic of simply walking away after pointing out his choice seems to leave his guest powerless to refuse. Once up there, everyone takes a gentle ribbing with grace (he does a lot of sarcastic watch-tapping), as though a silent rebuke is easier to swallow than a verbal one.

This compilation show, featuring routines he insists will no longer be performed once this month is out, is set backstage in a decrepit dressing-room an hour before his next gig begins. Listening to the Shipping Forecast, Tape Face nods off only to find a packed Pleasance Grand in his dream. While mere mortals might find themselves totally naked or wholly unprepared in such a scenario, the Kiwi mime artist is in full control as he lures up individuals or couples or trios to take part in a Michael Jackson tribute, a surreal game of golf, and a recreation of Swan Lake.

A gloriously playful finale sends us off into the night with a smile while we imagine the Tape Face left behind, on stage, presumably taking on a new audience with guile, wit and his undeniable power of persuasion.

Pleasance Courtyard, until 27 Aug (not 15), 9.40pm, £13–£17 (£12–£15.50).

The Boy with Tape on his Face is TAPE FACE

  • 4 stars

It's comedy but without the chat. A chance to see the phenomenon of BWTOHF, in a show which is kinda cabaret, kinda theatre and kinda beautiful. Stand-up to make you spit out your drink then break your heart.

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