The Week Ahead: June 24 - July 1

tape boy

This year's Udderbelly Festival in London has had a lot of great one-nighters but not many good quality comedy runs. It makes up for that this week with an extended visit from The Boy With Tape on His Face. New Zealander Sam Wills has already been a massive hit at the Edinburgh Fringe and did this greatest hits show, More Tape, in the West End in December. If you haven't seen it yet, why on earth not?

For anyone who thinks that silent comedy is naff, think again. Wills mixes mime and inventive humour to great effect in a number of set-pieces using simple props and members of the audience. While Wills is clearly the star, the show would not be the same without sporting members of the public. It would spoil the fun to give too much away – it is always intriguing to see Wills setting up a trick in front of bemused "volunteers", but you never quite know what the trick is going to be until he does it. Marvellous family-friendly fun – as there are no words for once you don't have to worry about any swearing.

Also at the Udderbelly this week, on Friday, is Chris Cox, the self-styled "Mind Reader Who Can't Read Minds". I heard post-Derren Brown trickster Cox on a late night radio show last week giving away a few of his manipulation trade secrets and how they have helped him get upgraded whenever he flies. He recently found himself sitting next to Cheryl Cole in club class thanks to his silver tongue.

In fact I wonder if I've been slightly "played" by Cox too. We've had an interesting correspondence about mentalism over the last few months and then recently he sent me a friendly email asking me to plug his gig. Was all the friendliness just a ploy to get me to write about him? Well, Mr Cox, the joke is on you, because I was going to write this preview anyway. This is the show I saw in Edinburgh in which Cox demonstrates some amazing feats of, well, if not mind-reading, I don't know what they are. All I can say is that he doesn't use plants – I know because I was picked out and I'm not a plant. At least I don't think I am…

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