Tape Face

Tape Face, a show that mixes circus, variety, clowning and who knows what else, presents me with somewhat of a dilemma. How best to recommend it to you strongly enough whilst spoiling as little of the delight as possible? Much of the joy of Tape Face, and joy is dripping from every orifice of this show, comes from the moments of sudden realisation of what Sam Wills, as Tape Face, has constructed in front of our eyes. To deprive you of those glorious surprises would be to do you a disservice, so here goes.

Do whatever it takes to get yourself a ticket

Tape Face is returning to his roots at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with a ‘best of’ show set in his dilapidated dressing room before the show we are watching begins. Immediately, you’re grabbed by the dramatic use of sound and lighting cues which play with expectations and often provide laughs on their own. The music is a perfect mix of stylish and moody numbers and recognisable cheese, from the Jackson 5 to Nena.

Sam Wills performs with unbelievable ease and skill, effortlessly building rapport with both his audience and his participants. He is so expressive that charm and character seem to ooze from the tips of his often twitching fingers. Tape Face’s command of his art form is truly masterful.

The sheer brilliance of this show, though, comes from its sense of play; the whole thing feels like a huge game of pretend. From the wonderful handmade props to the silly costumes, the imagination and attention to detail will fill you to the brim with childish glee. Tape Face will leave even the most stone-faced grown up grinning like a kid at Christmas.

I can’t in good conscience tell you any more about the show. Trust me. Look up from your phone, tablet or computer. Make eye contact with the first human you see. Take them by the hand, tell them that they’ll thank you later and then do whatever it takes to get yourselves a ticket. Sell a kidney if you have to, you don’t really need two anyway. 

Reviews by Rick Willis

Underbelly, Cowgate


Greenside @ Infirmary Street

Over the Garden Fence

Pleasance Courtyard

Terry Alderton: All Crazy Now

Underbelly, George Square

Foil, Arms and Hog: Oink

Pleasance Courtyard

Tape Face

Gilded Balloon at the Museum

Robin Ince's Rorschach Test




The Blurb

The best of Tape Face and more. The multi award-winning show returns to the Fringe for potentially the last time. It's still good and now it's bigger and better. Get involved and when it’s all over you’ll be completely lost for words. Google it. Total sell-out, Fringe 2010-2013. As seen on the Royal Variety Performance (ITV). 'Endlessly inventive, hysterically funny' ***** (Time Out). 'Simply joyous' ***** (Times).