Mediocre White Male, co-written by Will Close and Joe Von Malachowski, follows a 30-year-old male who reminisces about a previous relationship and the nostalgia of his younger years. During his narration of distressing issues, the effects of his past and the prospect of male privilege in a world that is continuing to develop and leave him behind, the narrative begins to lead down a dark path towards a twisting end.
Will Close portrayed his character amazingly. His acting was very naturalistic, it almost felt comparable to a stand-up comedian addressing you directly as himself and less like an actor performing on stage. The performance was smooth and he had the audience grasped to the story. The audience experienced someone who was hurt just speaking to them, allowing his feelings about his previous girlfriend to flow out.
Close and Malachowski highlighted the prominence of male privilege throughout history and present day by arguing against the idea of the world changing and his worry/ignorance to adapt which was an interesting angle. The inclusion of the historical statue that Close’s character worked as and the modernization of this character through himself allowed the angle of this first controversial theme to unravel the first uncomfortable detail of the character.
The topic of oversensitivity, male privilege and gender appropriation came into the story at the early stages but Will Close managed to keep the characters cards close to his chest. The comedy throughout the piece was great and landed majority of the time, however, towards certain sections of the performance, some of the jokes felt forced and this impacted the reception from the viewer. Close managed to keep the audience engaged throughout the performance, leaving us unsettled by the dark twist.
Overall, Mediocre White Male was a brilliant play that encapsulated the room. Close and Malachowski wrote a one man play that tackled various distressing themes whilst showcasing some superb acting and comedy through the darkness. The duo put together a strong script that proved itself on the stage. Some small issues such as lights being too dim at points doesn’t take away from the quality of this show.
Link for tickets- https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/mediocre-white-male