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

Losers

★★★
Greenside @ Infirmary Street

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★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Terry Alderton: All Crazy Now

★★★★
Underbelly, George Square

Foil, Arms and Hog: Oink

★★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Tape Face

★★★★★
Gilded Balloon at the Museum

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★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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Performances

Location

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).

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