The Boy With Tape On His Face was an award-winning, extended-run, sell-out hit of the 2009 Adelaide Fringe Festival, and it’s not hard to see why. Relying heavily on audience participation, Sam Wills presents a performance as delightful as it is hilarious, perfect for rediscovering the joy and wonder that comes along with your inner child.
As the title suggests, the show is presented entirely by Wills with tape on his face, and is perhaps best described as stand-up comedy if the comedian didn’t talk. The Boy uses a series of every-day props in unexpected ways, particularly in the creation of puppets, bringing a near constant stream of laughter from the audience. The show also relies heavily on referencing popular music of the past forty-odd years, almost providing a voice to The Boy.
Presented in a collection of skits more-often-than-not unrelated to the scene immediately before or following, The Boy also plays with several jokes referred to throughout the show before being brought together in a self-confessed visually interesting, yet nonsensical ending. While some skits worked better than others, the show never got caught up in a single joke, and at one-hour it is still short enough to not become a gimmick.
While this show very much belongs to The Boy, it is the cast of characters pulled from the audience which really help to make the production what it is. For the faint-at-heart, it is perhaps best to try and hide in the crowd, but the joy and lovability of The Boy may mean a little part of you hopes that you do get plucked for your moment on the stage. The show was almost stolen by a brilliant “strip tease” by one of the selected audience members, and the charm of Wills encouraged everyone selected to give a great performance.
The small Bosco Theater is perfect for the wonderfully expressive Wills, who has an uncanny ability to convey so much information through a face half covered in gaffer tape. Sound and lighting is perfectly balanced for the small space, and only ever serves to add to the performance.
The Boy With Tape On His Face is a joyous production, non-confronting in its humour which will transcend any language barriers. It is sure to sell-out again, so get your tickets quick!
Mr & Mrs Wills present
The Boy With Tape on his Face
Venue: The Garden of Unearthly Delights | Bosco Theatre, Rundle Park, cnr East Tce & Rundle St, Adelaide
Dates/Times: February 12-14, 16-18, 20-28 @ 7.45pm; March 1-7, 9-13 @ 7.45pm
Tickets: $20 - $24 (plus booking fees)
Bookings: FringeTix 1300-FRINGE (374 643) | www.adelaidefringe.com.au