The Death of Stalin meets Bond in Unleash The Llama’s Man of 100 Faces, a tragicomic one-man homage to the greatest spy MI6 ever produced. Following a sell-out run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the show returns to London’s King’s Head Theatre, running from 8-12 November 2022.
Playing 100 distinct characters in a one hour performance, writer-performer Saul Boyer delivers the rip-roaring tale of Sir Paul Dukes, a child runaway who, after just three weeks’ training, became head of MI6 in Russia during the bloodiest year of the Revolution.
It is 100 years since the end of the Russian Civil War
It is 100 years since Dukes first published his story
It is finally time to tell the story of the Man of 100 Faces
In a matter of 24 hours, this intrepid son of a Somerset vicar finds himself in a bewildering world of demagogues, femme fatales – and all manner of double and triple agents.
Repeatedly escaping shooting, drowning, and hypothermia – Dukes smuggles himself across enemy lines disguised as a ghost, runs 100 miles across a frozen minefield with crippling frostbite, and risks certain death, all in a desperate effort to launch an insurrection to topple the Revolutionary government.
Sealing himself into coffins, concealing secret reports in condoms, and simulating an epileptic fit to avoid detection, Dukes finds himself on the brink of triumph. But in the midst of all the distraction – his past comes back to meet him. Unleash the Llama finds depth within the madness, exploring the roots of Dukes’ obsession with dissimulation.
“Saul Boyer gives a powerful physical theatre performance… commanding, compelling… he leaves nothing behind. A fantastic, powerful, thoroughly entertaining performance” – British Theatre.com ★★★★
Director/dramaturg Sam Rayner is joined in the creative team by sound designer Frederick Waxman, lighting designer Jo Underwood and producer Maddy Chisholm-Scott.
Unleash The Llama comments: “We are so proud to bring this extraordinary forgotten story to life – in the first adaptation since Sir Paul, almost exactly 100 years ago, left Russia for the final time.
“The world today is still feeling the reverberations of those momentous events – and we hope through the story of this extraordinary character, we are able to illuminate some parts of our past that should not be forgotten.”
Told through kaleidoscopic multi-rolling and intricate physical theatre storytelling devised by Lecoq trained practitioners, this production brings Duke’s forgotten story roaring back to life. He’s the scourge of Lenin, the only spy ever to be knighted, and a master of disguise. But can the Man of 100 Faces unmask who he really is?
Man of 100 Faces runs at the King’s Head Theatre, 115 Upper St, London N1 1QN from Tuesday 8 November to Saturday 12 November 2022 at 8.45pm. Running time: 75-80 minutes. All performances: £14/£18. Age guidance: 14-plus, the production contains reference to abuse and descriptions of violence and torture. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!