Susan Welsh talks to actor, writer and director Kenny Boyle about his new play, Hero Worship, which is heading for Inverness
WHAT’S THE PLAY ABOUT?
Hero Worship is a one-man show, written by myself and starring just me, about a boy who is certain he is a superhero, despite not yet having any powers. He calls himself Anachronism and spends his days working in a supermarket and walking his puppy, while his nights are spent wearing a mask and Spandex. The play is set on a rooftop overlooking the city and is really about escapism, so a lot of it involves getting the audience to imagine things. There’s a strong storytelling element to it, with a nice message for all ages.
IS THE SUBJECT OF SUPERHEROS CLOSE TO YOUR HEART?
Very much so. I’ve always been fascinated with comic books. I spent my formative years on Lewis before the family relocated to Glasgow. After moving, I spent pretty much every school holiday on Lewis. We stayed in a tiny village called Cromore. My dad would post up superhero comics to me and I’d grab these and escape into my own wee fantasy world there. As a child, my favourite was Gambit from X-Men, but now I’ve become such a fan of the genre it’s impossible to choose a favourite.
WHO IS THE PLAY AIMED AT?
All ages, but in particular it seems to have a message for teenagers and young adults, and actually that is one of the things I love about the show – it speaks to that often-neglected demographic, but really it’s universal. The real core of the story is that everyone reaches that crucial point in their life at which they know there is something they are brilliant at, something they are made to do, but when you reach that point you don’t necessarily know what that “thing” is. This play tries to make sense of that. Some of the most interesting 40, 50 or 60-year-olds I know still have moments when they consider following dreams that may have fallen by the wayside. The most interesting among them actually do it. It’s not just a show about escapism and finding your place in life, though, there’s also a load of stuff about super powers and explosions. And I’m pretty sure everyone loves those.
TELL US ABOUT SONIC BOOM THEATRE COMPANY
Sonic Boom specialises in putting on shows with very small casts and pioneers new Scottish writing. We really like single-performer theatre because it lends itself to a lot of theatricality because you’re trying to tell a story about lots of different people using just one actor. It’s interesting for the audience, too, as it engages them with the story. We’re also proud to say that we are the company that brought Still Game back to the stage – not the recent version live at the Hydro, though. The original play hadn’t been staged for 14 years, so we approached Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill, and asked if we could put the play on. They said yes and I produced and directed the show. They came to see us doing it and it was that that made them think they could bring Still Game back.
WHERE CAN WE SEE THE SHOW?
Hero Worship will be at Eden Court Theatre, Inverness, on Tuesday, March 10, with tickets priced £7 and £14. Contact 01463 234234. The show then moves to Ayr, Perth, Arbroath and Giffnock