Moral of the story – we are all our own superheroes
Kenny Boyle takes us on an imaginative, emotive, and funny trip around one ordinary superhero’s universe in Hero Worship.
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.