Darren Bevan - TVNZ.co.nz'I utterly adore this gloriously original act and wholeheartedly recommend this show without any doubt whatsoever; if you don't laugh or fail to be moved by the truly brilliant genius that is Sam Wills/ Tape Face, then you have no soul. 'open/close
There's just something about the Boy With Tape on his Face and his show which renders you happy throughout its entire duration.
It's a very simple premise - Sam Wills, a renowned Christchurch prop comic, is on stage with a strip of dark black tape across his face. He can't speak, doesn't speak and spends an hour making the audience do things for his pleasure - and ours.
It's not a show I want to spoil in any shape or form but with Wills' tall gangly frame and bulging eyes being his only window of communication with the audience, it's entirely down to the audience for the interaction. Props on the stage help with the set ups and punchlines for his visual gags - and quite frankly, if you're lucky enough to be invited up to be part of the show (and believe you and me, it's a real privilege if you do), you're an idiot if you don't play along with this guy.
Wills is an expert puppet-master, a masterful mime and class clown who knows what he wants from the audience; but here's the thing with this show - it rises and falls on what the audience members bring to it.
There are some moments where TapeFace's a bit non-plussed by the failure of some to understand what he wants them to do - but it's that level of unpredictability which really makes every night totally unique and each show inventively awesome.
I've seen TapeFace perform every time he's been here and it's great to see the show and its star grow; each time you see it, the randomness adds something to it which elevates it to the truly brilliant. I'm in awe of Sam Wills, his creativity, his childlike naivety on stage and his sense of fun is seared through every second of this hourlong show - plus I'm incredibly proud that he's one of our finest comedians - and deserves to be treasured as a Kiwi entertainment icon.
And this time, I like the way TapeFace is a bit dismissive of those who don't quite get it. One guy can't work out what's needed of him and is summarily dismissed from the stage. But here's the thing - he doesn't do it cruelly or use that to mock you if you're not quite sure what's required.
Simply put, The Boy With Tape on his Face - More Tape is truly a magical hour of entertainment; it's such good fun you leave on such a high and with a grin beaming from ear to ear, having been transported to the earlier times of childhood where innocence was prevalent and everything was a play thing, ready to be fashioned for your own fun.
I utterly adore this gloriously original act and wholeheartedly recommend this show without any doubt whatsoever; if you don't laugh or fail to be moved by the truly brilliant genius that is Sam Wills/ Tape Face, then you have no soul.
All eyes and no talk, The Boy With Tape On His Face opened last night with enough wit to whet the appetite of every man and his dog. Dog and bone aside, the audience ate the free-flowing gags with ease and straight from his palm. As a slapstick virtuoso he took us all on a rollercoaster ride of short original, prop-infused acts.
“The Boy” is otherwise known as Sam Wills, and he brings an awkwardly comic and curious personality to the stage. Toying with the audience like another prop from his bag, he takes the mickey out of many and commands the attention and control of everyone. This is comedy without the complexities of politics, history or intellectual rigmarole that requires too much noggin power. The working day is over after all, and all we want is just a damn good laugh. A mere five minutes in, I caught myself mid-snort and thigh slap and I knew this was an hour well spent with this taped-up lark.
To read more, go to: http://entertainme.co.nz/reviews/BoyWithTape20120515
You might not think that a quirky show that revolves around a comedian with masking tape over his mouth would be that funny.
Boy, would you be wrong.
It’s clear to see why The Boy With Tape on his Face has become so popular in the UK. He had the entire audience in the palm of his hand from the word go on Saturday night for his sold out Comedy Festival show More Tape.
The show relies on audience interaction but it wasn’t hard – participants happily got up on stage and did whatever crazy things he asked of them, all in good spirits. The Boy was quick to (silently) mock those who didn’t follow instructions, but he didn’t go so far as to make anyone look like a complete idiot.
I loved how The Boy comes up with some very novel uses for household objects. Oven mitts come to life, tape measures become light sabres, the song Lean On Me is given a new meaning and he even finds a new use for a hairdryer that doesn’t involve drying hair.
Sketch after sketch of clever, well planned skits set to popular music were met with hearty applause and plenty of laughs. The skits were punctuated by a continual countdown to the end of the show, which was a little off-putting – I didn’t really want to be reminded of how little time there was left in the show, I just wanted it to last forever!
The finale, set to the song 99 Red Balloons, was the icing on the cake of a delightfully charming hour that completely deserved the standing ovation at the Opera House.
Being such a tightly scripted show, there isn’t much room for improvisation. But the element of spontaneity that comes from having audience members taking does make each show individual. You get unexpected gems, like the guy who really got into his role as a charging bull with horns and pulled down his beanie over his face to reveal a grotesque face painted on it. Priceless!
I had seen roughly half of the skits before, through seeing them on the Comedy Gala on TV or at First Laughs a few years ago, and it did spoil the surprises a little. A lot of the humour comes in not knowing where he’s going to go next, or what on earth those seemingly random household items are going to turn into, so if you have seen it before it does take a bit away from your enjoyment of the show.
The Boy will need to keep coming up with new acts in order to keep his audiences coming back for more, but I’m sure he won’t have any problems doing that as long as he has his fertile imagination and an endless supply of props.
I wonder if I could be as entertaining as the Boy with Tape on His Face, using no words at all? Probably not, as a reviewer, words are kind of the key thing. Nevertheless, Sam Wills, aka The Boy, proves he is as entertaining as ever, despite not uttering a single one. (It's kind of hard with duct tape strapped across your mouth).
I'd never been to a BWTOHF show before, even though most of my friends, as well as the Queen, have had the unusual pleasure. There was an over-riding quality of enjoyable strangeness to the show, and I felt as though I was experiencing some kind of revolutionary new circus. The Boy's bug-eyed likeability and ability to communicate any emotion through gesture, facial expression and musical score makes his show an original triumph.
The show consists of a litany of props, audience participation and sound, but I can't really say much more than that, because I’ll ruin it and you’ll be mad with me. However, I will say my hands smelt like rubber when I left and that you probably should be prepared for some sudden loud noises. Hopefully that intrigues you enough to go and see the weird and wonderful Boy with Tape on his Face.
The time came for the 'The Boy' to take the stage and from the get go he had the crowd enthralled. His style of comedy is certainly unique and what he does, he does absolutely brilliantly. Using props, music and a lot of different audience members the one hour show never has a dull moment and even had me in fits of laughter.
Without giving too much away, hair dryers, plungers and toilet seats make an appearance and the soundtrack includes music like Free Falling and The Good the Bad and the Ugly. I loved the way he used music almost as the punch-line of a joke and with more prowess than most talking comedians can do it.
Without a doubt Sam Wills is one of the cleverest performers I have ever seen and is definitely a world-class act, which is probably why he was included in the Royal Variety Performance and Fringe Festivals all over the world.
To read more to go: http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/features/6886508/Review-The-Boy-with-Tape-on-His-Face
Getting two strangers to kiss passionately on a stage in front of hundreds of people - including their partners - is no easy task.
But The Boy With Tape On His Face is persuasive.
With his quirky facial expression and gestures, the comic urged the pair to perform a courtship skit and after two unacceptable attempts - a kiss on the cheek and an awkward peck - they gave in and went for the full smooch.
Only then were the audience allowed to applaud and the stars allowed off stage.
The award-winning comedian's show is dependent on his fans' participation, and we were warned beforehand to be good sports.
In a cheery, sing-song voice, the MC said: "Play along or you will look like a cock."
To read more, go to: http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/whats-on/6925764/Comedy-thats-more-than-words
The seemingly makeshift assortment of cardboard boxes, a chair, a stool, shelf unit and bits and pieces (a microphone even!?), creates an anticipatory air of something playful and imagination-based. As this is my first time witnessing the now legendary face-taped Boy, I'm intrigued and excited, looking forward to learning what all the fuss is about and generally expecting the unexpected.
Firstly though, Jamie Bowen warms up the audience with his fairly universal brand of inappropriate wit.* He claims it's a homecoming performance of sorts, being a Shore boy born and bred, and proceeds to slag off any locals who didn't go to the same high school as him, before launching into twenty odd minutes about Being a Comedian (they do say talk about what you know), investigating social prejudices and stereotypes re. redheads, Asian drivers, male libidos, bestial pornography etc. Something for everyone to be both amused and offended by.
After the break it's The Boy's turn. As the near-full auditorium returns to their seats the title character, aka Sam Wills, sits pigeon-toed, sighing and fidgeting in his trademark black mop, stripy top, slim grey suit, purple sneakers and of course the iconic short strip of gaffer tape sealing up his gob.
The lights go down and a friendly PA voice welcomes us, advising it's an interactive show so if you're called up "play along, or you will look like a cock!"
Possibly the most classic of all musical introductory stings is that of 20th Century Fox, which our hero seeks to punctuate with a party blower... Problem #1: how can he blow the whistle with his mouth covered? Solution: the first of many instances of delightful ingenuity designed to charm and amaze, as they invariably do.
To read more, go to: http://theatreview.org.nz/reviews/review.php?id=4790