Mistaken: A Quartet of Plays for One Actor

Mistaken presents four short monologues, written and directed by Nick Myles and performed by William McGeough. It’s a good showcase of strong work, though the monologues would stand better individually.

Mistaken showcases William McGeough’s versatility as an actor and his ability to connect with the audience.

The first monologue takes place in a football locker room. We are Lee’s teammates and he’s telling us about meeting up with an old work friend to discover they now have little in common. Lee is an affable chap, although a little misguided at times, and we empathise with him.

In the second monologue, another likeable character appears, striking up conversation with us in a London bar. This is Edgar, a naive gay Yorkshire lad stunned that in London, there are Grinder candidates mere yards away (as opposed to 40 miles away at home). A darker edge emerges as we discover why Edgar has left home.

We next meet Peter, who is much more assertive than the previous two characters, to his own detriment. In this piece writer Nick Myles proves himself a master of the slow reveal and manages difficult subject matter without being overwrought.

The final monologue is a motivational speech, complete with PowerPoint presentation, delivered by a woman called Natasha. Given the two preceding pieces had gay protagonists, and the content of the third monologue, I was unsure whether Natasha was trans or if it was gender-blind casting. This only mattered as this character didn’t feel as real as the others. Some technical difficulties emerged in this final piece, which I wouldn’t mention except for the fact that rather than detracting from the piece, actor William McGeough’s skilful handling allowed for some opportunities of humour and the audience remained engaged.

Mistaken showcases William McGeough’s versatility as an actor and his ability to connect with the audience. Likewise, Nick Myles is clearly a talented writer, presenting a series of well-crafted monologues. Individually, each piece is strong. Unfortunately, they are let down by being packaged in this format and through the inclusion of a voice over, which attempts to provide a connection for the pieces but only makes it more obvious that this is not a cohesive show. The final monologue does reference the others, but this is not enough and feels a token gesture. Hopefully a more suitable format can be found to give these pieces another airing.

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The Blurb

Mistaken explores tragicomic situations involving sexuality, gender, and contemporary relationships. Starring William McGeough in four distinctly differentiated roles, the plays explore all too human characters and the ways in which they somehow get life wrong. From the murky waters of male bonding to small town homophobia, and with secrets ranging from the daily torment of depression to the shadowy borders of sexual consent, Mistaken is a witty, provocative, but above all truthful look at how easy it is for ordinary people to go off the rails. Written and directed by Nick Myles.

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