4 star review from Literature Without Borders

Theatre Review: Hero Worship @ CCA Glasgow

Moral of the story – we are all our own superheroes

Genre: Solo Performance
Venue: CCA
Website: http://sonicboomtheatre.com/heroworship/
Written and Performed by: Kenny Boyle
Produced by: Sonic Boom Theatre
Rating: 4****
Reviewed by: Christine Lawler

Lowdown

Kenny Boyle takes us on an imaginative, emotive, and funny trip around one ordinary superhero’s universe in Hero Worship.

Review

Hero Worship is storytelling for adults where imagination – that a lot lose as they release their childhoods – is needed to set the scenes which are described with enthusiasm. Kenny Boyle in this solo performance tells the story of the supermarket worker and his ordinary-superhero alter ego, along with the lost puppy Found who becomes a firm partner in his expeditions.

Through imaginative storytelling, poetry, quiet moments of honesty, and audience interaction Boyle portrays a lonely man who wants to be more than he is and save the world from the injustices within it and maybe find someone to share it all with. Boyle is a funny, quick thinking, and quite genuine performer, his interactions with the audience create a relaxed atmosphere and draw us all in to his world where we can also see ourselves. He speaks of the masks everyone wears and the secret identities we keep hidden deep inside of us, he speaks of how despite the pain and hardships life throws at us we will get through it all – even Peter Parker. There are genuinely moving moments throughout as he wraps a motivational monologue up in a superhero cloak, though none more moving than his puppy coming to his rescue in the park.

There are a lot of pop culture references to keep any geek happy (myself included) though I feel even those unfamiliar with the comic world can take away just as much from the piece, and maybe even learn something about the superhero worlds. Even if it is just how many superheroes are orphaned as children as our guy was, which is where his obsession came from. Taking refuge in fantasy is something a lot of people can relate to and there is a lot to relate to within this performance.

Kenny Boyle is an endearing performer and despite some stumbling over words on occasion, unnecessary nerves perhaps, Hero Worship is an endearing show with real heart. Even without the elaborate set we all had to imagine instead. It was so marvelous I was almost disappointed Stan Lee did not make his cameo.

4 star review from The Outlier

Review: Hero Worship

 


CCA Glasgow

4 Stars (4 / 5)


hero-worship - Copy

Anarchronism is an aspiring Superhero, working the tills at the supermarket. When he checks out form the checkout he checks out alone… but deep down he’s a Superhero; desperate to discover his secret power and earn his origin story.

This original story (written, acted and directed by Kenny Boyle) is funny from the get go, occasionally heart-warming, saddening, dramatic, poetic and ultimately uplifting. The tale of a grown orphan who spent his weekends writing letters to Peter Parker, being jolted out of the fantasy-land of comics by his unannounced side-kick – a lost dog.

Armed with a new ally, Anachronism goes on to find real-world love and companionship. He meets a romantic partner who suffers from anxiety and depression, and learns that although we all need heroes, sometimes all we need to be a hero is our empathy, and our sensitivity to those who depend on us.

Brilliantly engaging – Boyle’s show embraces improvisation, audience participation, spoken word poetry, and an arc of emotional highs and lows. Join Anarchronism on the roof of a sky-scraper somewhere, looking over the city, cape flailing in the wind, as he plans his next assault on crime.

4 Stars from The Public Reviews

hero worship cca glasgow

Hero Worship – CCA, Glasgow

Writer: Kenny Boyle

Reviewer: Fraser MacDonald

It’s the not so familiar story of the kid who always wants to be a superhero, but lacks the one thing… super powers. Kenny Boyle’s Hero Worship, more a monologue than a play per se, is a heartfelt piece that leaves its audience genuinely uplifted by the experience; packing as much a tickle as it does a punch.

Anachronism seems ordinary; a supermarket worker who lives for his comics. An incident changes his perspective, and Hero Worship takes us on a journey through Anachronism’s mind. Filled with pop culture references, everyone is bound to find something they can relate to. Despite being part of Glasgow Comic Con 2015, the piece is as easily digestible by those who can’t separate Superman from Batman. The humour is genuine and through Boyle’s character, is well directed at the audience. The piece works in its intimate environment to engage the audience, which all adds to the fun of the event. However, there are sharp turns of genuinely emotive memories which stun the audience into silence. The pace is on point, allowing for joyful and painful memories to merge.

The script is near effortlessly delivered by Boyle; the beginning of the piece seeming ad libbed, but the later scenes show this natural flow is all part of the character.

Overall, Hero Worship is a well written, well performed piece of theatre that fits well into the Comic Con playbill. The piece could definitely be destined for some success at the Edinburgh Fringe – this is certainly a one man show worth keeping an eye out for.

Reviewed on 1 July

 

Review Overview

The Pubic Reviews Score

4 Stars

Heartwarming

Glasgow Comic Con 2015 audience reviews

Some reviews from the lovely audience at the CCA for the Comic Con showing of Hero Worship:

“Well Hero Worship was an hour of highs and lows with an inspiring message. If you get a chance I highly recommend it” – Joe Gibson

Across the Arts review

Arts:Blog

Theatre/Comedy Review: Hero Worship (****)

Lorna Irvine reviews production ‘delivered with chutzpah and clear-eyed pathos’.

Fade in: In tonight’s thrilling episode, we find our intrepid young hero…where else, but up on the roof looking down at a city that needs saving, straddling that intersection where post-adolescent ennui meets adult epiphany.

Writer/performer Kenny Boyle’s pacy, giddy one-man show is monologue, cheeky stand-up and self-help seminar all at once, delivered with chutzpah and clear-eyed pathos.

Bored of the crushing banality of his life, a young supermarket worker (Anachronism) seeks life in 3D Technicolor, finding a soul mate in a puppy, wide-eyed and lost as he is, and ultimately happiness in the fire of a young woman’s eyes.

Happily, none of these facets are as trite as they appear on paper, for what the immensely likeable Boyle, one half of Sonic Boom Theatre Company, crafts is a comedy aware of its own tendency to navel-gaze, reining things in with winning silliness like macho posturing when sentimentality threatens to overwhelm the narrative.

Hulk SMASH…fourth wall!

There’s a breathless, beautifully written lyricism here: a vivid graphic novel- like attention to detail and a nod to the tropes beloved of sci-fi fans which never once alienate the comic book virgins in the audience…loss, loneliness, alienation and human fallibility are, after all, traits everyone identifies with.

Only by embracing our shadow selves and hugging our inner geek, he suggests, can we become truly heroic. My Spidey senses tell me Kenny Boyle is a talent with a future, brighter than a well-aimed fireball. And not an inch of Spandex was used in the making of this show.

POW!

Part of the Glasgow International Comedy Festival, and touring until 21st March.

www.glasgowcomedyfestival.com

www.sonicboomtheatre.com

Webster's Theatre Audience reviews

Some delightful audience reviews from Webster’s Theatre!

 

“Saw this great show at Websters last night and for anyone who’s not seen it yet there is one more chance at Eastwood theatre on Saturday. I would really recommend it if you’re free, Kenny Boyle is an amazing writer/performer.”

“Went to the Mitchell Theatre for the first time last night and saw Kenny Boyle’s one man show Hero Worship. Very enjoyable show and having met Kenny a few times, he knows his stuff when it comes to comics! Glad I saw it.”

“I went along at Webster’s and it was a funny and touching tale acted with verbal dexterity and heart”

“Went to see Kenny Boyle in his one man (hero) show tonight…. If you can, go and see Kenny’s one man show this Saturday night at Eastwood Theatre… great, funny, thought provoking and very very clever! ”

“Hero Worship was fun thought provoking and full of giggles.”

“brilliant night… Single-handed!… on an empty stage!… Smashing energy…n creativity… lovely, funny and touching writing… Keep going!… you never disappoint”

 

And from Twitter:

Hero Worship Scotsman Review

22:25Sunday 15 March 2015

PERCHED between reflective 65-minute stand-up set and full-blooded solo theatre, Hero Worship is the latest in a series of monologues by acclaimed writer-performer Kenny Boyle. Our hero is a 21st century everyman in his early 20s, frightened by his own ordinariness and traumatised by the childhood loss of his mother, but with a mind full of superhero imagery from comics and films – during the show he refers to Spider-Man, Nightcrawler, Wolverine, Thor, Batman and half a dozen more.

Hero Worship – Perth Concert Hall

But though an encyclopaedic knowledge of superhero literature is helpful in picking up every nuance of Boyle’s script, anyone with half a heart can appreciate the intense poetry of his hero’s rooftop attempts to escape the pain of everyday life, and his burgeoning relationships both with an insistent little puppy called Found, and with a magical girl for whom he has, after all, some super-powers of his own.

The play finally indulges in too many endings, sliding towards sentimental homespun philosophy, and Boyle needs to bring his delivery right up to the thrilling standard of his best writing. But his presence is as charismatic and memorable as his storytelling imagery, and he inhabits the inner world of generation superhero with a creative passion and humanity that’s hard to resist.

• Webster’s Theatre, Glasgow, tonight, and Eastwood Park Theatre, Giffnock, 21 March

Review by Mumble Theatre

Hero Worship

One Touch Theatre Eden Court Inverness

10 March 2015

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What is your superpower? Does everyone have a superpower? Does everyone have a secret identity? This is the question that Kenny Boyle tries to find out in his one man show about love life and comic books. Hero Worship tells the tale of a young man facing life’s problems with the lessons learned from comic books. Starting off from a dramatic rooftop stand-off above a busy city, the hero (Anachronism) starts to describe the events that led him there. Who is Anachronism and what is his purpose? Interacting with the audience to help them guess his powers, he tells of his very ordinary life working in a supermarket by day ‘patrolling’ the local park by night and finding violence, love and a small puppy.

The tale is beautifully woven together with the fantasies in the head of the protagonist clashing against the realities of day to day living. Kenny portrays a very convincing character that you cannot help but sympathise with. He shows a range of talent and his energy is infectious. Of course he also demonstrates an encyclopaedic knowledge of comic books. It is a very engaging show, with moments of comedy and moments of high emotion. Kenny brings to life a very different kind of hero and engages and delights the audience. The show is currently touring in Ayr, Perth, Arbroath and Giffnock, & to the good folk of those towns – especially to teenagers to early twenties -I would recommend this play. FOUR STARS

 

Reviewer : Stewart Tonkin

Audience Reviews – Ayr Gaiety and Perth Concert Hall

Some lovely audience reviews  coming in from the shows in Ayr and Perth!

“I was working on the Gaiety door tonight and when the audience had taken their seats, I was privileged to watch the performance of Kenny Boyle in Hero Worship. This was a clever, sensitive, one man show with a monologue of just over an hour and audience participation. It was a ‘super’ performance and enjoyed by everyone who saw it. He repeats his show tomorrow night in Perth and Glasgow on Monday, so if you are in these areas then you should buy a ticket and become a super hero for the night!”

“Tonight we went to The Gaiety to see the Sonic Boom Theatre Company and Mr Kenny Boyle .Stunning performance by a very talented young actor and writer. I enjoyed every moment,I laughed and cried. A few years ago we as a family went to the same theatre to see Honor Blackman in a one woman show. She held the stage for an hour or more. It is a VERY difficult thing to do but an actress of her calibre you would expect no less. She was however on the big stage with the added comfort of ‘distance’, the actors security blanket! The new Studio at the Gaiety Theatre Ayr offers no blanket! Kenny Boyle gave a VERY BRAVE, WHITES OF THEIR EYES kind of performance! Holding attention, charging imagination and inspiring young and old! Kenny Boyle is an up and coming talent, a young actor with charisma, guts and likeability.Watch this space as this talent is TO BE CONTINUED!!!!”

“Just home from Hero Worship with my hero loving Fragile X son and we all loved it – please pass on our thanks and good wishes to Kenny Boyle and more of this please! Well written and delivered.”

 

And some twitter comments!

 

Eden Court Audience Reviews

Eden Court have an absolutely lovely (and TERRIFYING) tradition where-by people seeing the show can write post it note reviews and stick them up! So, after last night’s opening performance of Hero Worship, here’s what the post its said!

Hero Worship at Eden Court, 10 March 2015

Post-it Reviews

“WE ARE GROOT”

“Hero Worship is one of those plays where you can’t help but smile. You can really connect with the character and all the comic references made me laugh. Thank you for putting on an excellent show!”

“This play was really inspiring; it reminds you that there is a Superhero in everyone. Even if you aren’t into comics, it is still enjoyable and a great show for a wide range of audience. Fabulous”

“Amazing one man performance. Managed to capture the character perfectly, engaging the audience within the story. Well paced performance and amazingly simplistic set that didn’t alter the show as a whole, as I initially thought. thoroughly enjoyed!”

“Your Show was fantastic! It was a fantastic example of a show that could control emotions flawlessly. The pop culture references were fantastic! I grooted this show so much. A tremendously real show; a nerdy insight into life’s ups and downs!”

“Absolutely wonderful performance. Loved the comic book references; big names and small names. You are both the hero the city deserves and needs. Now, I must go… My planet needs me…”

“Hero Worship is honestly one of the most enjoyable plays I’ve seen up to date! For any nerd or general Marvel/DC fan this play is for you! There’s laughs, touching moments and so much wonderful audience interaction. The concept of it being a one man show was amazing and worked amazingly in turn. I would honestly recommend this to everyone. Remember: We all have a power. We are Groot”

“Wonderful critical analysis of having a hobby that is your life. Well paced performance and stunning one-man character piece.  Appeals to a wide range of emotions. Maybe add references to lesser known comics, comic characters – I hope to see a reference to Ghost Rider and Rorschach and wish you the best with your show!”

And, because social media is king these days, some from the world of Twitter: