MY NIGHT WITH REG (play)
Ends 11th April 2015.
NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN OR THE EASILY OFFENDED. CONTAINS SMOKING, NUDITY AND
THE WASTING OF HALF A BOTTLE OF COCA-COLA.
A London flat, 1985. Guy parties
with his friends. In the Gay community, a shadow is gathering.
This bittersweet celebration of life by Kevin Elyot, is directed by Robert
Hastie. First seen at the Donmar Warehouse in Summer 2014, it now has a short
West End run.
(Seen at the Domar Warehouse, afternoon performance on 9th August 2014).
You know how sometimes it's possible to hurt yourself - quite badly in fact -
but not actually feel the pain until something else triggers it, at which point
it becomes acute and incapacitating? Me too. This play is exactly that feeling.
The first act makes unseen incisions through which, in the second, and even more
so, third, the cast can suddenly tear your heart out and pulverise it.
Jonathan Broadbent as Guy is the fulcrum, the balancing point in an endless
carousel of relationships, overt or otherwise, interconnected in a way that
spreads love, life, jealousy, bitterness, hope... and fatal disease. His is the
unconditional love and moral marker against which his friends are measured and
sometimes seem wanting. Yet perhaps they are living in a way he fails to do.
Julian Ovenden provides a perfect contrast as upper-crust layabout John; his
later scenes with Eric (Lewis Reeves) the ingénue handyman / barman supplying
the emotional turning point for the audience. Geoffrey Streatfield, as Daniel, a
camp airline worker, and Richard Cant and Matt Bardock as unlikely couple Bernie
and Benny complete the cast; all of whom negotiate an emotional maze leading
back to Reg, and whoever spent a night with him.
To say much about the intricately constructed plotting would destroy it, but
suffice to say every line has significance, even if the jokes have dated
somewhat - think Kenneth Williams c. 1983, but not the classic stuff. The only
flaw in an otherwise beautifully written and played production. See it, if you
can get a ticket.
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