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Review: Tape Face at Newcastle Tyne Theatre

The Boy with Tape on his Face is Tape Face
Newcastle Tyne Theatre & Opera House
Thursday 20th October 2016

Tape Face is a quality comedy act. The show feels immersive as many members of the audience have their chance to take part. The show builds up to quite a unique finale that had the whole audience on their feet at the end.

Whilst many comedy acts involve a simple “stand at the microphone and talk” format, it is clear upon arrival that this was going to be different. The stage is filled with a set that would not be out of place in a drama show. The design is that of the backstage of a theatre. Sat in the corner at the mirror is Tape Face with his back to the audience.

Photo: David Young
As the hall lights go down the speaker on the wall of the set announces that the “Tape Face Theatre Company show will begin in 1 hour 50 minutes.” He moves to the armchair, switches on the radio and listens to the shipping forecast and apparently falls asleep… and then the fun begins.

Over the length of the show, without saying a word, he gets the co-operation of the volunteers to do ballet, staple gun fights and enact scenes from movies. Delivering the instructions is as much a part of the entertainment and it is amazing to see how much control can be had through his non-verbal communication. Occasionally between the audience participation events Tape Face interacts with the set and that radio set.

The unusual nature of the comedy show also extends to both the lighting and sound design which frequently has a positive impact on the show.   

The show is really funny, helped by the willing members of the Tyne Theatre audience, who appreciate that they are very much a part of the show.  Our favourite scenes include a Western – featuring a staple gun battle, an intimate dance to Lady In Red and spinning plates through a dreamlike sequence. As already mentioned, everything built up to a clever climax which involved the entire audience.

This is a show which had lots of physical comedy. It understood how to entertain and how to use the principles of classic “silent” comedy. The Tyne Theatre audience lapped up the two hour performance.  It was a thoroughly compelling evening.

This review was written by Stephen Oliver the North East Theatre Guide – follow Stephen at @panic_c_button.

Future comedy events at Newcastle’s Tyne Theatre & Opera House include:

Paul Carroll’s Music Hall Tavern 

Thursday 27th October 2016

Josh Widdicombe: What Do I do

Saturday 29th October 2016

Romesh Ranganathan

Sunday 6th November

Rob Beckett

Thursday 10th November 2016

Jerry Sadowitz

Friday 11th November 2016

Nina Conti - In Your Face

Saturday 19th November 2016

John Shuttleworth: My Last Will and Tasty Mint

Friday 20th January 2017

Miles Jupp

Monday 6th February 2017

Omid Djalili: Schmuck for a Night

Friday 17th February 2017

David O’Doherty: Big Time

Sat 18th February 2107

Pam Ann – Touch Trolley Run to Galley 20th Anniversary Tour
Saturday 17th June 2017

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