The mediocre white male of the title, or MWM as he’s referred to by a colleague, is angry. His school friends have moved on, and he’s stuck playing a talking statue at the local stately home.
To make matters worse, he’s been sent on a gender awareness course for referring to his female colleagues as ‘girls’.
He yearns for the past when life was simpler, there was banter, and he knew where he stood.
But this isn’t a story of unfulfilled ambition and navigating a world that is “politically correct”. Well, it is, but over the course of an hour, our MWM (played by Will Close) reveals more and more about himself that sheds him in a different light.
He is a man who doesn’t take rejection well or accept responsibility. He’s also incapable of understanding a different perspective. MWM is prone to using phrases like ‘nobody told me’ and ‘how was I supposed to know’.
His sense of entitlement is a subtle build, revealed through his comments about work and his relationship with an ex-girlfriend who has died.
Dressed in a greyish-white period statue costume, as if about to head off to Covent Garden to entertain tourists, he rubs subconsciously at his face smudging his white and black make-up until it looks grubby.
It is an appropriate metaphor for how confusing MWM finds the shift in what is socially acceptable. And his final shouted line is damning, a message that despite all the evidence, he just doesn’t see where he is responsible.
Will Close’s performance as MWM is initially disarmingly hapless; he is a man who tends to say the wrong thing, and you can laugh at the beginning. But Mediocre White Male is a gradual shift, throw-away remarks start to add up, and that is the point.
It’s an interesting play and very well done. I’m giving it ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.
Mediocre White Male will be made into a radio play, so keep an ear out.
Mediocre White Male, King’s Head Theatre
Writer & Director: Will Close, Joe Von Malachowski
Cast: Will Close
Running time: 60 minutes without an interval.
Booking until 18 March; for more information and tickets, head to the King’s Head Theatre website.
The Journey to Venice, Finborough Theatre ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ booking until 25 March.
Women, Beware the Devil, Almeida Theatre ⭐️⭐️⭐️ and a half, booking until 25 March.
Trouble in Butetown, Donmar Warehouse ⭐️⭐️⭐️ booking until 25 March
Phaedra, National Theatre ⭐️⭐️ for the staging ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for the play and performances booking until 8 April.
A Streetcar Named Desire, Almeida Theatre ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and a half; transferring to the West End on 20 March.