The Boy with Tape on his Face returns to the 2017 Fringe as Tape Face, with all of that whimsical vibrant energy that has made him a mainstay in aplenty.

His hard-to-explain appeal rests in his ability to entertain adults the way that a baby is entertained: with wordless funny faces, physical comedy and, most of all, by cleverly teaching them funny tricks. He immediately takes charge, looking up from his set – which is dressed to look like backstage – to select an unwitting member from the audience. Time and time again he runs up, carefully and decisively appoints an assistant and runs back down, admonishing them with a frown and a tap of his left wrist for taking too long.

His ability to communicate without words is astounding, but much of his humour does rely on some element of sound. Music forms the basis of this year’s show: multiple gags that first seem meaningless, are then illuminated by well-known lyrics that the audience has unwittingly helped to set up.

Anyone who attends the show should be prepared to don costumes, to strike a pose or even to start a relationship. While, at times, the show can seem repetitive, similar build-ups lead to wildly different conclusions, and the end is the biggest surprise of all.

Words: Emily Hall

Picture: Matt Crockett

Tape Face, Pleasance Courtyard, Aug 12-27 (not 15), 9:40pm

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