Reviewer: Laura Maley
The simple things in life are often the best. That statement was never truer than watching The Boy With Tape On His Face. He deftly turns everyday items into objects of play, he often gets someone unsuspecting involved and laughter increases; but when he gets the whole room involved it turns into an extra-special experience for an audience. The Boy With Tape On His Face brings his tour More Tape to The Lowry and leaves the full-house with an evening of very happy memories.
The Boy played at The Lowry’s Studio theatre in 2011 and he has clearly taken things up a notch, with a large scale finale which works particularly well in the Quays theatre. It’s great to see The Lowry supports acts as the stars rise. Hopefully, that will mean a gig in the Lyric sometime in the future.
Without giving away any of the sketches in the show, some of the props being pulled from The Boy’s trusty satchel, a cardboard box and bin liners (The Boy’s strictly lo-fi) include: oven gloves, trainers, a coat hanger, balloons, a Rubik’s cube and a tape measure. Once a prop is used it is tossed into a waiting cardboard box: over, done. It’s a fast-paced show and no item extends beyond it’s funny limit. This in itself demands skill in reading an audience: we don’t need a whole song to realise the joke with the home-made performer; The Boy knows exactly when to stop.
Bringing audience members on stage in many of the sketches could be a huge risk – some will always over-play their part but The Boy interacts with them all wonderfully: encouraging, coaxing, telling them off – with the most expressive eyes and gestures. One member is singled out early on in such a clever way that he must sit through the rest of the show just wondering when he will be called on again, this turns into an utterly perfect final sketch.
Taking part in the finale – along with every single other audience member – is rare in theatre. The entire audience is on their feet, laughing and playing, all transported back to their childhoods through the magic of seeing The Boy With Tape On His Face.