Straight White Men
24 November 2021
0.5 out of 5.0 stars
I had originally booked for this before the pandemic began, so was quite pleased to see it finally getting its run! I love heading down to the Southwark Playhouse for their small-ish shows and have seen quite a few gems here. However, this wasn’t one of them.
While the intro by Kim Tatum and Kamari Romeo was great, the rest of the play just didn’t click with me at all. We were asked to watch without given commentary or interpretation and to make up our own mind at the end, I just couldn’t find my way into what point there was to make in this story.
The basic premise was that a widower was going to spend Christmas with his three adult sons, family problems of course arise, but are mostly focused on race, privilege, and masculinity. While it was entertaining, though at times questionable, and provided a glimpse into the male psyche, I couldn’t shake the feeling that the view of white men we were being presented with had more of an “oh, these poor guys, they just can’t get it right nowadays” overtone rather than critically examining the meaning of privilege and its effects on the people who do and don’t have it.
It came across, to me, as a warning that straight white men who are made aware of their privilege in this world will invariably suffer because of the awareness. I might have missed the point or just not understood what the creators were trying to do with the show, others seemed to really have gotten something out of the performance. Personally, it felt too much like a pity fest for the most privileged people on this planet, so I unfortunately can’t recommend this one at all.