By Jay Menard,
What happens when you’re chasing a dream, but can’t let anyone know you’re running after it? In Gamer Boy Patrick Avery-Kenny answers that question in hilarious fashion — and also discusses what comes next once that race is run.
Gamer Boy is a story of Avery-Kenny’s dreams to be a professional gamer, centred around when a 13-year-old Avery-Kenny earned his way into a Halo gaming competition, then had to concoct a plan and deceive his parents to travel on his own to the 2006 Free-for-All Tournament in Dallas, Texas.
Avery-Kenny mentions a couple of time how he’s got an overly competitive personality, and it’s evident in how well-crafted his show is. His timing is impeccable, his body language and use of props is well-conceived, and the audio-video integration he and director Hailey Hill have concocted is perfectly matched.
There is a “Holding-Out-for-a-Hero” training montage that’s an absolute highlight and features a pitch-perfect synchronicity between the action on the screen and those of Avery-Kenny. It is the most hilariously choreographed thing I’ve seen on a Fringe stage in years. And, without spoiling it, there’s an audio-recording moment near the end of the play that is more than just the cherry on top of the ice cream — it’s the whole damn orchard.
There are so many subtle, yet noteworthy, moments in the production. From the inclusion of an 8-bit version of Blink 182’s what’s my age again, to a hilariously cavalier representation of stowing luggage, to presenting childhood photos where he emulates Napoleon Dynamite imploring you to “Vote for Patrick” there are little moments that add to the overall whole.
Avery-Kenny is a genial, genuinely entertaining performer who has crafted an at-times uproariously funny show that has a heart. He may be a Gamer Boy, but he’s got serious performing skills and this is a show well worth seeing — even if you have to sneak out and lying to your parents.