This silent comedy treat might be slow to start and overindulgent in places, but there is no denying how hilarious the act is.
Sam Wills aka Tape Face has created an interesting modern interpretation and tribute to the silent comedy era that relies a lot on the audience and their willingness to take part, making the evening thoroughly unexpected.
But it has to be said that it does have quite a few moments which feel dragged out for no reason – particularly in the first few minutes of the show in which nothing seems to be happening at all. This means that the show is longer than it necessarily needs to be – despite being thoroughly entertaining and jam packed with sketches.
The New Zealander shows just how creative comedy can be – and it doesn’t have to involve words. The numerous props that he has on stage ensure that the audience is constantly curious as to what he is going to do next in attempt to top the previous joke.
For those who don’t like audience participation, it is perhaps a good idea not to sit in the stalls as you are in with a fair chance to be picked on and make your West End debut in front of your fellow audience members to become either a stripper, a ballerina or even a band to name a few examples. Tape Face’s reliance on the audience reactions means that the show is never going to go quite the same way – keeping it feeling fresh and new.
The lack of speaking in the show from the comedian means that the audience is even more focused on his facial expressions, heightening the comedy even further even if the joke is basic. To watch him stare the audience down or being clearly exasperated by their behaviour (in the nicest possible way) just adds another layer to the humour.
It is a show that constantly keeps you on your toes with either expectation of being picked on (and the disappointment if you aren’t) and curiosity to see what he is going to do next. Yes it could do with cutting down some of the pauses or ’empty’ moments to make it feel a bit tighter overall but overall it is a wonderfully imaginative and funny show.
Tape Face continues to appear at the Garrick Theatre until the 23rd July. To book tickets visit: Ticketmaster.co.uk, See Tickets.com, Discount Theatre.com, Last Minute.com, Theatre Tickets Direct.co.uk, Love Theatre.com, Theatre People.com and UK Tickets.co.uk.