- Brian Donaldson
- 13 August 2017
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).