Mediocre White Male 4 * (Edinburgh Fringe Review)
Assembly Roxy - Central. 6pm
Know Before You Go: There is a trigger warning for an abusive relationship.
With an intriguing title (though slightly unappealing in this day and age), this show certainly surpasses mediocre. Performed by Will Close (written by Will Close and Joe von Malachowski) it tells the story of an unnamed man who works as an actor in a Wiltshire Castle to bring the architecture to life by recreating the story of the inhabitants of the past. He is the ghost of Lord Voltram – complete with eerie white makeup and a Shakespearean ruff. It was a summer job he started ten years previously.
"With a very intriguing, if not unappealing title, this show certainly surpasses mediocre."
(Mediocre White Male)
He chats openly to us, contemplating his life and cracking jokes which don’t land, but the light humour does little to cover up the simmering guilt underlying the monologue. It soon becomes apparent that we are not the true recipients of this meandering chit-chat; he is talking to his dead ex-girlfriend. He wants to tell her about her funeral which he attended just days before. We learn of the unwelcome behaviour of her family towards him and it is only at the end do we discover the motivation behind their harsh conduct.
"Close explores the way she and the rest of the world left him behind in the provincial town and mindset with a strong stage presence."
Through the extensive monologue, Close explores the way she and the rest of the world left him behind in the provincial town and mindset with a strong stage presence. The character cannot even begin to understand what damage he might have caused and his ignorance is painful to witness. A clever symbol plays throughout as he is dressed as a ghost of the lord who married a woman 30 years his junior and a ghost of the man he once was.
"We are invested in this original story and cannot leave without knowing the truth, even though it is clear that we will only ever know his shaky, warped, and ignorant truth."
This is an unexpectedly profound exposure of the dangers of male privilege and ignorance in an ever-changing world. There is a slow start but soon we are invested in this original story and cannot leave without knowing the truth, even though it is clear that we will only ever know his shaky, warped, and ignorant truth. The impressive writing was notable; really testing how far you can go while exploring such delicate subject matter. This is a gripping hour of Fringe that will leave you questioning your own version of events and the true purpose of nostalgia.