“Jackie Kennedy is to blame for everything that’s wrong in this country. Candy wants to sack Paul. Can you believe it? Our first ever employee. Our last ever employee! Damned Jackie. It’s all on Jackie Kennedy!”
Do you know the short film George Lucas in love? Well SUPERPOWER… (spolier) does something similar but with Stephen King and The Shining
«Mischievous humor and sinister storyline»
«It combines dialogue with hilarious scenes»
«A must if you like Stephen King»
A wonder work
“SUPERPOWER. A paranormal comedy” is a metafiction that includes a large part of the imaginarium of Stephen King and develops it in a fun but tragic work for theatre.
The ingredients of this literary cocktail could not be more brutal but promising. The plot takes place in 1974 in different locations of the fictitious Ellentown in the United States. There, a small publishing house is managed by impulsive Jake and his wife, the sweet and idealistic Candy, who speaks and acts just like Jackie Kennedy and is hiding a secret. This strange married couple receives an ultimatum from the bank: pay what they owe or they will be closed down. To be able to pay their debts, Jake decides to write the next best-seller himself. The problem is that Jake has never written anything in his whole life. This will lead to marital tension that will reveal the pair and their enigmatic son’s most intimate and paranormal secrets.
Here, the world of popular culture is turned upside down in this hilarious plot, which is packed with references to the works of Stephen King, superhero comics, and 70s terror, offering an interesting reflection on the power of reading. Presented as a play, there are infinite possibilities when it comes to its staging options and audience interaction. At times, Jake and Candy’s conversations will make you laugh out loud (like when Candy reads the letter from the bank and tells her husband about the money they are demanding. She asks, confused, why the bank is asking them for money – they haven’t done anything wrong). There are truly some great scenes. Others take place in the bar, between Jake and his barman friend, Larry, a quiet man who seems trustworthy but…
Later on in the play, we come across the conversations between Candy and Dr Bannister, the psychiatrist she visits when she realizes her husband has becomes more violent since starting to write his novel (and since he started chatting to the nice barman…). Does the writer-character who changes personality remind you of anyone? Remember that the author of the play, Marc Egea, pays homage in his novel to the inspiration for King’s earliest and most successful works.
And if this is not enough, we still have more scenes to contend with. A young man with coke-bottle glasses, a lumberjack shirt, who looks like the typical serial killer from 70s movies. He carries a box around with him and spies on the married couple. Why? Who is he?
Yes, the front cover looks like a comic, but it is a play, and it reads like a novel. Is that not very original? Here we have a book that talks about inspiration for creative writing, couple relations, the publishing world and, above all, it speaks to us of broken dreams and murderous intentions. It is frenetic, fast, and terrifying (in its possibilities…) because, as you read on and understand which of King’s novels has inspired the characters, you start to feel a shiver down your spine.
A fun-filled story with lots of mystery underneath the plot’s surface. It is the reader’s job to scratch this surface and discover what the author is hiding.
Now, dear reader, I must surprise you with the fact that the prologue is written by the one and only Buck Richman himself. Yes, the author of “On Watching”. Do you know who that is? Well, all the more reason to delve into this book because at the end of the play, you will find the first two chapters of “On Watching”. Still no idea what I am talking about? I’m a book reviewer only and I’m not going to tell you everything…
You will enjoy reading this wonderful book and, if you are Stephen King fans, you will reveal that orgasmic power that you have inside of you. Two-hundred pages of theatre that can be read in the blink of an eye. The writing quality is like a drop of the finest poison.
There are some writers that should be snapped up and edited by a top publisher. Egea is one of them. Lights off…ladies and gentlemen…enjoy the show!
«Marc Egea has managed to break all established boundaries with this play»
«He manages what many others have failed to do: be an example of innovation»
SUPERPOWER: An innovative and ingenious mix of genres
By Sandra Moreno (Munduky Web Cultural)
Throughout history, both theatre and literature have been a source of inspiration for many artists, but the predictability that comes with this means that surprising the audience is becoming increasingly more difficult. For this very reason, Marc Egea’s ‘SUPERPOWER: a paranormal comedy’ deserves mention and praise because it manages what many other authors have failed to do: be an example of innovation.
Just by looking at the play’s synopsis, we get a glimpse of what the author’s means by “going one step further” creatively. The central plot is straight-forward: “Jake and Candy Wallace receive a letter from the bank telling them that if they don’t pay their debts within one month, they will lose their small publishing house dedicated to the works of female authors. Little by little, Candy’s well-hidden secret pushes their marriage into crisis. Meanwhile, misdemeanors of a serial killer are terrifying the town.” Although at first glance it seems like a classic Nordic thriller, the play contains black humor that, cleverly fused with crime, gives us a play that is immorally garrulous and witty”.
The secondary storylines are also worthy of mention here because, although they seem somewhat unconnected from the central plot, they manage to enrich the love story between Jake and Candy. The psychiatrist who manages to solve the mystery and the son who is never seen on stage, but who helps us to understand the true source of the author’s inspiration, make the main twist in the story all the more impactful for the reader. The bar scenes, however which seem comical at the start, end up becoming quite macabre. A book destined to break with tradition that offers entertainment in its quick-witted humor and the speed with which the plot is resolved. There are not too many scenes, and every aspect is well thought out. It is this break with classic humor that makes the play so inticing. There is no complexity to distract the reader from the main story and all the events unfold in a natural and straightforward way, whilst remaining an innovative read. It is the perfect combination of genres to refresh what is often considered an outdated art.
A book that is destined to break boundaries
SUPERPOWER: a ground-breaking novel that will change the concept of theatre as we know it
by Sara Mendoza Serrano (nuevatribuna.es)
When we think of the most classic elements of drama, we think of all the theory we learned during our school years and the hundreds of works that we have seen on stage again and again. This stops us from thinking outside the box creatively. However, the experienced Barcelona-based playwright and scriptwriter, Marc Egea, has managed to break all established boundaries with his book, “SUPERPOWER. A paranormal comedy”.
With a comic-style front cover, the author gives us a hint at his ability to break boundaries; this is not a comic, but a play that reads like a novel. It is not an easy book to categorize and this is its defining characteristic. The plot, based on Canadian author’s Buck Richman’s novel, “On watching” is about a marriage in crisis. Jack and Candy Wallace are about to lose their little publishing house to their debts, but Jake is convinced he can save his family by writing the next best-seller. However, the couple’s secrets and the presence of a serial killer will put obstacles in his way. This is really a “meta-adaptation” because the book is really based on Stephen King’s autobiography, which is titled “Whilst writing”. If we bear this in mind, the reader will understand the macabre foundations of Egea’s work which, mixed with comedy, is a hilarious yet punchy work, perfect for a young audience used to frenzied consumerism.
The play is set in the 70s, which encourages the union of uncomfortable humor and the sinister undertone that makes the book so attractive. Kennedy’s assassination, the recent massacre at the hands of Charles Manson and the wife’s submission to the husband figure are all factors that lead the reader to a constant state of stupefaction. This is especially true with the contrast of scenes where we can see a marriage at breaking point and a ridiculous conversation between two men in a bar. All the scenography sets up the landscape for a plot that will end up with an extraordinary twist. Here, we have the solution to a conflict that decants for originality, a nod to science fiction and terror without losing the lightness of humor and drama. To put it quite simply, “SUPERPOWER” is a reunion between theatre and modern literature. Finally, the complex psychology of each and every character needs to be noted, since they all have their own inner pain. At times, their suffering is so intense that it can provoke laughter just because of its implausibility. And on the other hand, the fact that the first two chapters of Richman’s novel are added at the end, is a delight. This novel was never published due to the publishing house going bankrupt, but it serves as a welcome final addition to a completely crazy and hilarious play.
Marc Egea has managed to break all established boundaries with his book
I need to be very clear here: this book has changed the way I see things. Firstly, I am not used to reading theatre (however “novel-like” the annotations may sometimes seem). And, secondly, because I am not used to reading terror. Although this is a genre that I like, I never seem to get round to giving it an opportunity. In this review of “SUPERPOWER. A paranormal comedy”, I want to explain some of the things I liked the most about this book.
SUPERPOWER. A paranormal comedy is a play, with lots of annotations so that both the reader and the actors know what to do in each scene. It is divided into 24 different acts (or scenes). The book also contains the first two chapters of Buck Richman’s novel, On watching, new light on Carrie and The Shining by Stephen King”. The author of this play, Marc Egea, shares his reasons for including these two chapters in the book and, in short, I think it is a praiseworthy gesture.
Let’s return to the play, SUPERPOWER. A paranormal comedy now. The book tells the story of a happy couple: Jake and Candy Wallace. Both are co-owners of a small publishing house. All is well until the bank sends them a letter demanding that they pay their debts. Jake decides that he must be the one to write a best-seller to raise the funds. The decision changes them both, however, because Candy is not initially aware of how much the task will change her husband’s personality.
I don’t think I should give more details on the plot here, because one of my favorite bits of the book has been to discover all of the secondary storylines that the married couple are hiding. The characters are perfectly designed and executed, and all have features that differentiate them from the rest of the cast. Some of Jake’s opinions are the product of his development as a character and this is enviable in all works of fiction. I understand that this is a common feature of cinema or playscripts, but if we look at this book as a novel, in this genre it is often forgotten.
I am of the opinion that this work could be included under two genres: humor and terror. Although it might seem slightly strange, this is really true! In some scenes, the overarching tone is one of humor, whilst in others terror takes over. It seems that there are references throughout to all kinds of literature: comics, authors, books… And, although I am not an avid reader of Stephen King, has is undoubtedly a great influence for the author. I might even go so far as to say that this is a tribute to him. This is a book that can be read very quickly, but that agility does not stop the reader from becoming enthralled in the storyline. Having read the book, would I like to see it on stage? Oh yes. I recommend it wholeheartedly. There are scenes that I will remember forever because of how well structured they seem to me. I would love for more people to read this book.
SUPERPOWER: between intrigue and fun
by J. Entraigües (in Horta Noticias)
The first scene of this play (written to be read) takes us back to another place and time, without any need to provide us with an exact date or location. We quickly realize that we are in the office of a small publishing house with its type writers and we witness an argument between the two co-owners, Jake and Candy. The play is set in the 1970s in a quiet town in the United States and, at first glance, we are reminded of any of the films from this era that explore the lives of the traditional family. However, as we read on, we come across comical dialogues, extravagant characters and clues that the story may well end up where we least expect it to (such as the mention of a serial killer in the neighborhood).
The main issue in the plot is that the couple’s publishing house is about to go bankrupt. The business, which was set up six years ago, has focused on the literature of female authors but, after its first success, has not managed to launch any other best-sellers. Jake and Candy are desperate and start to think of ways to solve the problem, showing us the differences between the two of them immediately. Candy is excited at the thought of receiving or discovering a manuscript that will save them and change the publishing house’s fortune, whilst Jake believes he is the only one who can save the day by writing his own best-seller. Jake has never written a story before in his life, which tells us that this main character has a very high opinion of himself. Candy is doubtful this will work, and this only adds to the tensions between the pair. The characters are certainly interesting ones: Jake is serious and irritating, but his utterances, conspiracy theories and epic statements produce many laughs.
The book can be read quickly and enjoyed because it combines dialogue with hilarious scenes, which provide entertainment with an underlayer of suspense. The tone is one of comedy, but there is still a mystery to solve that keeps us on our toes: we want to know where the supernatural power will come into play, what it will do, what will happen to the marriage between Jake and Candy and their business, and who are the intriguing characters that appear at certain points in the story.
The work is written with a playscript format and this could seem like an obstacle for readers who are not used to this genre, but the truth is that the stage directions are the minimal required to imagine the scene. The physical descriptions of the characters are brief, sticking to key points only, so lots is left to the imagination. The conversations that take place make for a nerve-wracking and entertaining read, however. This book is recommended for anyone wanting to explore a new genre, read something that takes them outside their comfort zone, and provides some guaranteed entertainment.
SUPERPOWER: a hilarious work of theatre, perfect for fans of mystery
by M. C. (in MARTINCID Magazine)
To find a novel that is out of the ordinary is no mean feat, but SUPERPOWER. A paranormal comedy by Barcelona-based playwright, Marc Egea, has this spark because of its acrid humor and narrative originality. It is not a novel as such, but rather the adaptation for theatre of a novel that has not yet been published. It undoubtedly manages to captivate the reader from the very first scene.
The synopsis of SUPERPOWER may seem strange, but this is what makes it so intriguing. It is not an easy work to position within the modern-day literary genres, but its aim is to make the reader laugh due to its uncomfortable and morbid scenes. An innovative read that will stick in your mind after reading it. The story revolves around the marriage between Jake and Candy Wallace, which is currently under pressure due to the imminent closure of their publishing house and the secrets they are keeping from each other. Jake is convinced that he can save his business by writing the next best-seller himself. In the meantime, a serial-killer is going around killing women. It is a plot that brushes with madness but manages to captivate its audience effortlessly.
Before I go into the technical aspects of this ingenious play, I should first tackle its roots. Marc Egea translated “On watching” by Buck Richman, a book that he called “Mientras no escribo” [“Whilst I’m not writing”] in his Spanish translation. Unfortunately, this book was never published because the publisher Watergate Books closed down. Despite this, the authors became close friends and, with time, Egea created an adaptation of the book using his knowledge as a scriptwriter. What is most noteworthy is the fact that the play is written to be read like a novel, and with this literary innovation he unites mischievous humor and a sinister storyline. The book manages to keep the plot shrouded in mystery in each and every scene whilst maintaining its comic and macabre touch. You really have no idea what is going on, and it is not clear if there is one bad guy or if everyone is to blame. All that we do know is that there is a secret that will be revealed at some point in the story. This is when the science fiction and terror come into play. The author plays with the feelings of fans of these genres by ending the play with an impactful and bizarre finale. Your laughter and surprise will stay will you for hours after you finish this book. To cap off this innovative read, the author has included two chapters from the novel “On watching” for us to read. This not only makes us hope that the book makes it to publication stage, but also helps us to contextualize its adaptation into a comedy for theatre. Richman himself praises the final result in the prologue of the book, with due cause, since reading all the scenes in this book only leaves us hoping for it to be represented on stage.
The Barcelona-based playwright, Marc Egea, was given the task of translating On watching, by the writer Buck Richman. The publisher that should have released the book went bankrupt before they could do so. However, in the furry of emails between the author and translator, a strong friendship blossomed. One day, Marc confessed to Buck that he had written a play inspired by On watching. Buck was so impressed after reading the play that, in the prologue, he tells us: “SUPERPOWER is a rogue read. Hilarious. Groundbreaking. Disturbing. It is as if it was written in a hurry; written on a whim. It wants to please. Break boundaries. You could say it has been written for the YouTube generation. A moment of madness. A breath of fresh air. A wonderful surprise”.
I have always liked reading playscripts. The defining feature of plays is that they are written to be represented on stage. However, I am of the opinion that a play is good when it can function by itself. This is exactly the case for Marc Egea’s SUPERPOWER. How can we define the book, though? Is SUPERPOWER a play? Yes. Does it work like a book? Yes, that too.
So yes, I agree. SUPERPOWER is full of surprises. It’s a very original book, halfway between being a play and a novel, which hits the reader like a missile between the eyes. It is so funny and original that is has reminded me why I liked reading plays in the first place.
We are in the year 1974, in a small town in the United States. Candy Press is a modest publishing house that only prints the works of female authors. The owners, Jake and Candy are not in their finest hour. The publishing house is about to go bankrupt and the bank is threatening to close them down. The only option is for them to publish a novel that will become an overnight success story. But how can they discover this book amongst all of the manuscripts they are sent? Candy is the most optimistic of the two – perhaps she will find the next Jane Austen in one of those brown envelopes? Jake is not so sure.
In a chat with his trusty barman, Jake suddenly has a revelation. He will be the one to write the next best-seller for Candy Press! He will be the one to save them from bankruptcy. This is how Jake’s hilarious creative journey begins, as he decides to write the best superheroes novel that will change the course of literary history. The story is about a special guy who lives in a small town in the United States surrounded by bitter guys who are set on ruining his life because he is special and they can’t bear it.
I must add here that On watching, the novel that serves as inspiration for the play is, in the words of Marc Egea himself, “a brilliant analysis of the master of terror, Stephen King’s, earliest works”. For those of us who enjoy the US author’s books, the parallels between Stephen King’s work and SUPERPOWER’s plot will soon become clear as the book progresses. Marc Egea also includes the first two chapters of On Watching, an as yet-unpublished book that looks very promising.
The conversations that take place between Jake and Candy, the surreal situations they find themselves in, the barman’s advice, the couple’s young son, Jimmie, and his strange activities…it is all so fun and hilarious that this is one of the most original books I have read in a while. If you fancy an enjoying read, I recommend delving into the strange but fun book by Marc Egea: SUPERPOWER. You won’t regret it.
It hits the reader like a missile
SUPERPOWER: comedy and terror combined in one wonderfully crazy book
by Manuel Contreras (in Lenguas de Fuego, revista cultural)
In the current day and age, a good dollop of humor is a must. The ability to enjoy art, where we can find solace from our problems, is a privilege that we are always willing to give hand ourselves over to. Catalan playwright and scriptwriter, Marc Egea, has given us his “SUPERPOWER: a paranormal comedy” just at the right time for us to enjoy comedy and terror in equal parts.
To classify this play, which looks like a comic but works like a novel, would be a senseless task because the madness that emanates from its pages is its strongest charm. Lovers of Stephen King will see this book as a nod towards the North American author’s work, though through the eyes of a playwright full of creativity and mischievousness. To understand the context in which this work has been written, “SUPERPOWER” is an adaptation of Buck Richman’s “On Watching”: after translating Richman’s novel, Egea started up a friendship with the Canadian author, which led him to publish the play. “Whilst I’m not writing” (which was the title Egea gave to Richman’s book) is inspired by Stephen King’s biography. We might say that it is the combined talent of no less than three authors that given rise to a play that will captivate the younger audiences and allow us to enjoy the classics of theatre we have been watching for years from a new creative perspective.
Without giving away too much about the plot, Egea offers his reads a short synopsis at the start: “Jake and Candy Wallace’s small publishing house receives an ultimatum from the bank: pay what they owe or they will shut them down. To pay their debts, Jake makes the heroic decision to write a best-seller himself. The problem is that Jake has never written anything before in this life. This will cause tension to grow in the marriage and we will discover the couple’s most intimate and paranormal secrets”. A nail-biting tale that plays with the readers’ reactions to the absurd nature of the mystery and macabre humor.
The final sensation the play leaves you with is one of ecstasy. The resolution of the central issue leads to the fracture of all established plots, through references to other well-known works. Each character’s own charisma does away with any gaps in the settings, because a large stage is not necessary here. All that would do is distract the audience from what is really important in this book: the originality of the story. Last but not least, we should mention the two main characters who shine as a comic duo, but also as characters in their own right due to their extravagant, but different, personas. This is a book that deserves to be read and leaves you itching to see it acted out at the theatre.
It will captivate the younger audiences
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«I was really surprised by the author’s imagination and how he has managed to knit together the plot in such an intriguing way, with such an enlightening and surprising ending.»
«Fans of Stephen King, what are you waiting for? Read SUPERPOWER! It will really surprise you!»
«Really recommendable if you want to be entertained, if you like theatre and black humor, and if you like anything to do with Stephen King.»
«If you’re a Stephen King fan, you’ll like this more than you can imagine.»