More Tape is the second show from The Boy with Tape on his Face, and for those of you who doubted whether he could do another show with more of the same material and it still be funny.. well, he can and it is. If anything, it’s funnier! There are more props, more routines, and more laughs.
Speaking to The Boy a couple of weeks ago, we talked about him receiving eleven five-star reviews at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, how he sometimes shoves his body through a tennis racquet, and the specific brand of tape he buys. He also informed me that in his new show people could expect a gun fight, he’d fight Darth Vader, and he’d bring John Lennon back to life. He definitely didn’t disappoint.
For many people the thought of venturing out on a rainy Sunday evening to watch a stand-up show without any talking may seem like an odd thing to do, but for the audience in Glee Club it was a perfect way to end the weekend. You may think that putting gaffer tape over the mouth of a comedian would put them at a slight disadvantage; that they couldn’t possibly have an audience in stitches for a whole hour, but you’d be wrong. Despite the lack of elaborate comedic stories and cutting one-liners, there are plenty of punch lines in More Tape. The Boy manages to tell stories (or rather create them), engage with an audience, and involve them as players in his show. His show does depend on audience interaction, but that should in no way make you cringe. He doesn’t set out to make anyone look stupid - awkward in a playful way, yes, but that’s all part of the fun - and it’s apparent that the people he gets on stage are having a great time (I was, in fact, rather disappointed when I wasn’t picked..). The ingenious way in which he uses everyday objects as props makes you realise there are infinite possibilities to play. Just because you’re an adult with a job and bills to pay doesn’t mean you can’t invite a friend round, put balloons under your arms and between your legs, and have a staple gun fight, right?
From the start I was stuck by the subtleties in his performance. All he needed to do was raise his eyebrows and a wave of titters spread throughout the audience. The Boy is very skilled in marrying comedy, mime, and puppetry, and his big expressive eyes and vaudeville style make for a winning combination.
More Tape is a show that’s universal. I could tell from glancing around the room that he appeals to a wide range of people and it’s this that’s most endearing about him as a performer. There aren’t many shows out there that break down the language barrier and bring people together with the intention of forgetting about all the responsibilities we have as adults. He wants people to remember what it was like to be a kid. He wants people to remember creating stories and worlds out of whatever was lying around. And he wants people to start doing it again. Kids would no doubt love this show, but it isn’t for them. This one’s for the adults.
John Lennon succeeded in gaining artistic immortality during his lifetime but his untimely death meant that many fans would never get the opportunity to see him sing live. Or so I thought.. Using only his hand and a few choice props, The Boy brought Lennon to life in front of us all. A funny and poignant moment, and the epitome of what his show is about, the audience cheered at the uncanny resemblance. You may say The Boy’s a dreamer, but after this show, I’m sure he’s not the only one.
The finale was a joyous moment which involved everyone and I don’t think anyone wanted to end. The show left me feeling giddy with excitement and I fully intend to find games to play with objects lying around my house.
The Boy With Tape On His Face performed at The Glee Club Nottingham on Sunday 23 September 2012. He returns to Glee on Saturday 1 December 2012.
Kristy Guest is a member of The Gramophones.