14-20 Rue de la Gaité, 75014 Paris
Capacity : 900 seats
He was born in New Zealand, made his name on the West End, then hit the big time with an appearance on America’s Got Talent. Sam Wills, or as his audiences call him, Tape Face, is a truly international performer. Until now he had yet to make it to Paris, though. From November 2019, the French capital is about to get its first dose of hilariously funny, quirkily inventive mime show, Tape Face.
It seems like a simple concept: one man in a stripy sweatshirt mimes his way through the challenges of daily life. But it’s not easy to send a roomful of spectators into stitches without uttering a single word. With a tape over his mouth and a stage full of props, Tape Face brings a collection of inanimate objects to vivid life. They tell a dancing story that breaks through the barriers of language and tests the very limits of our imagination. Plunging us into this absurd fictional universe, Tape Face gives old-fashioned clowning a fresh and contemporary update.
Having seen Tape Face on "Americas Got Talent", I was excited and nervous to see him in concert, I was afraid the show would not be able to maintain humor for over an hour. I am happy to say that I was very wrong.
Irresistibly good fun
You won't find a more reliably fun-for-all-the-family experience than the West End debut of Tape Face
A triumphant West End show
Thankfully, Tape Face's international success has done nothing to curb the sheer joy that this silent clown from New Zealand offers a roomful of people. His show is a delight.
From clowns to musical splendor
The Théâtre Bobino gets its name from a celebrated Italian clown that worked in the nearby Luxembourg Gardens in the early 19th century. From 1816 to 1868, the Théâtre du Luxembourg welcomed Bobino the clown and his troupe, and the venue became affectionately referred to as Bobino's theatre. In the 1870s, the venue moved locations to the bustling nearby Montparnasse district and officially adopted its namesake.
From its construction in the 1870s up until the first World War, the Bobino was a small café-concert, though quickly gaining notoriety. While exiled in France, even Lenin himself was known to frequent the Théâtre Bobino! Following the war, the Bobino music hall very quickly became the go-to location for all the latest in Parisian musical culture. Becoming the primary music venue on the Rive Gauche, the Théâtre Bobino welcomed international stars from Edith Piaf and Georges Brassens to Barbara Dalida, and Joséphine Baker. At one time, the Bobino and Paris' mythic Rive Droite music Hall L'Olympia were both run by the same man, Bruno Coquatrix.
Finding its place
After a major renovation in the 1980s, the theatre faced closure due to lack of financing and entered into a rather experimental phase throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, housing cabaret dinners, comedians, and even welcoming a few television recording sessions. The Bobino changed direction in 2010 when a new director wanted to embrace the venue's music hall history and also to expand to include musical comedies, one-man-shows, and more diverse acts. The Théâtre Bobino has finally found its place as a celebrated Parisian venue welcoming musically-charged performances of all genres.
Handicap Accessible? Yes, please contact us to ensure proper seating in accessible areas
Air conditioning? No
It says this show has no subtitles. Is it still accessible to English speakers?
In his side-splitting clown show, Sam Wills (or Tape Face) communicates using movement, gestures and objects, rather than with words. It’s different from what we usually offer (French plays with English subtitles) but is still true to Theatre in Paris’ promise: French entertainment accessible to non-French speakers. People from all over the world, no matter their language, can enjoy!
Is this a family friendly show?
Even though this is a clown show and influenced a lot by classical circus, we don’t recommend bringing very young children. Théâtre Bobino does not accept audience members under 4 years of age.
How do I get to the theatre?
The theatre is accessible by the metro stations Montparnasse (Line 6, 4 and 12) and Gaîté (Line 13). Our hotline can be reached in case of difficulty finding the theatre weekdays from 10 am to 7pm Paris time. For details, we invite you to consult the map above.
What do I do when I get to the theatre?
We invite you to arrive 15 minutes before the beginning of the show, and present your voucher at the front desk. The theatre's English-speaking staff members will guide you to your seats.
How long does the show last?
The show lasts one hour with no intermission.
Is it a show for travellers or French people?
Both! Having toured across the UK and the States, this now world famous performer is eager to cater to both Parisian and international audiences. His show can be understood by speakers of any language.
Is tipping customary?
Tips are not mandatory in Parisian theatres. However, ushers will usually expect a small tip of between 2€ and 5€, which you can give them when they've shown you to your seat. Fun fact: the French word for “tip” is “pourboire,” which literally translates to “to have a drink.”