Super Human Heroes

Super Human Heroes from theatre group The Letter J (in association with Paisley Arts Centre) has a simple message: We all need to do our little bit to help make the world a better place, even if that's just by using less plastic or just being kinder to other people. We have a tendency to put our trust in heroes to save us, but the show highlights that this just isn’t good enough.

The show is full of light, shadow and movement.

Projected onto a central screen, a succession of made-up newspaper front pages underscore the state of the world; "It Just Got Worse" is arguably the most amusingly grim headline among them, if only because it's true! In any case, in response, three ordinary flatmates somehow manage to reinvent themselves as costumed superheroes: brilliant Captain Sunshine (Jon Bishop), question-asking Super Curious (Judith Williams) and the fast and furious Courageous Kid (Ruth Janssen). "The world needs saving, and this is what we’ll do!" they announce, before setting out to right wrongs and save lives. ....Until they find themselves out of their depth and it all starts to get too much.

Superheroes are nowadays a pretty-mainstream concept, the stuff of blockbuster movies, but there's a sense here that Bishop, Williams and Janssen are assuming an audience whose knowledge of superheroes is somewhat less than the listed age-range might suggest. Yes, this results in some beautifully tender songs, performed by Bishop on guitar, where he ironically suggests "I'm a tough guy/Real tough". However, his assertion that "Superheroes with feelings/Can't save the day" is although arguably a suitably child-friendly comment on the dangers of toxic masculinity, but ignores the emotional complexity of an increasingly sophisticated superhero genre.

Bishop sings, performs and provides the illustrations, Williams gives us some great comedy moments, while Janssen offers emotional collapse expressed through energetic choreography. The show is full of light, shadow and movement but, at least on the night of this review (with a largely adult audience), it left me emotionally untouched—and so not sufficiently distracted from the somewhat unsubtle arrival of the show’s "message" that we should all try to be Super Human Heroes.

Reviews by Paul Fisher Cockburn

Summerhall

One of Two

★★★★
Scottish Storytelling Centre

Moira in Lockdown

★★★★★
Laughing Horse @ Bar 50

Love and Sex on the Spectrum

★★★★
Royal Lyceum Theatre

Mrs Puntila And Her Man Matti

★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Captain Sunshine is not living up to his name! This Super Human Hero is not feeling super. Where's the all-action superhero? Where's the run a hundred miles with a smile? We miss his sunshine, his light; we miss feeling that everything is going to be alright. Captain Sunshine is overwhelmed by the challenges of the day. He's tired of being sunny; of being good, funny, loving, smart; tired of playing the part. Who will save Captain Sunshine if he cannot safe himself? What does it mean to be a modern day Super Human Hero? A comical and musical dance with darkness, exploring the ways we are, fail and try to be super human heroes. We can't be heroes all the time. It's OK to be human. Part of the Edinburgh International Children's Festival, commissioned by Imaginate in association with Paisley Arts Centre.

Most Popular See More

Matilda the Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £42.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Book of Mormon

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

SIX

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets