Billy The Mime

Billy the Mime is no stereotypical French man trying to climb out of an invisible box. He is the alter ego of Stephen Banks, an American actor and comedian. His one hour show is scandalous and extremely clever as he presents different stories and scenarios from current affairs, most of them being particularly taboo or outrageous.

In the slightly creepy underground setting of The Caves, Billy introduces us to each scenario with a caption on a white piece of card. Accompanied by fitting pieces of music these scenes range from stories like ‘Whitney Houston’s Last Bath’ and ‘The Priest and the Altar Boy.’ As you might imagine, both of these performances leaves the audience doing that sickened, muffled laugh, not sure whether it’s appropriate to let out a full on giggle or just shake their heads disapprovingly.

There is no denying that Banks is an extremely talented performer. He displays fantastic devotion to each scenario and complete conviction, down to every last eyebrow raise or eye roll. Without any vocals it is hard to hold the attention of an audience for an hour but he managed to have us eating of the palm of his hand instantly. However, there are some inconsistencies in the show. It is not always clear what he is doing and only if you’re an obsessed Jacko fan will you able to follow the events that Billy acts out from Michael’s life. This meant that the Thomas Jefferson sketch was a little lost on me. Make sure you’re clued up on famous taboo celebs before you go.

The show is unlike anything else. It’s risqué, it’s gross, it’s funny and at points it is heartfelt. His Whitney sketch can be seen as a tribute, the same as his death of Diana scene. The mime of a paedophile priest interfering with a young boy is however, pretty disturbing and I let out a genuine ‘urghhh’ at one point. Despite the low points, the show is well worth the money and well worth a watch, just to see how far he will go to shock and amuse. Twisted, wicked and indulgent to your darker side.

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The Blurb

‘Politically incorrect! Uncomfortably funny! Twisted! Chilling!' (New York Times). 'A one-man variety show depicting the most taboo and controversial stories of our culture. It absolutely should not be missed!' (NewYorkTheater.com). Not for children or the easily offended.

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