The Boy with Tape on His Face, Gilded Balloon
Wednesday 18 August 2010
Morphing Marcel Marceau with Men in Coats, the Kiwi clown Sam Wills is deprived of the power of speech by a strip of tape across his mouth. He's still the gaffer of the piece, though, as he manipulates numerous audience members to follow his lead in various joyful antics without question. There's no use resisting his call to the stage – he can't answer their protestations in any case.
Among the set-pieces, three men are schooled in the moves to the Jackson 5's "Blame It On The Boogie" and a girl is manoeuvred into a small-scale re-enactment of the potter's wheel scene in Ghost. Later, in a change of medium, shoes and a biscuit tin are manipulated to "sing" Michael Jackson and Nat King Cole respectively.
Tracks from Yann Tiersen's soundtrack to the Jean-Pierre Jeunet film Amélie are played on a loop throughout. Indeed, the music does the talking for Sam Wills in this show. Even his waste bin at the side of the stage has its own signature tune ("I Like To Move It" by Reel 2 Real). It's a nice touch and helps to populate his landscape with features other than him preparing his next wheeze from either his box or bag of tricks.
I'd like to have seen a few more of these touches in this charming show but then Wills has a lot to pack in. So much, in fact, that the preparation time for each trick starts to feel like a longueur by the end.
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