SuperBreak’s Catherine was lucky enough to catch My Night With Reg at London’s Apollo Theatre – read her thoughts on the show here…
My Night with Reg brings this daring and extremely witty play back to mainstream West End theatre, staged here twenty years after its initial – and successful – run. Discussing the dynamics of London’s gay community facing the AIDS crisis in 1980s, this production has been described as “The perfect British Comedy – tender and funny” (The Sunday Times).
Although the director has clearly tried to avoid stereotypical characterisations, you will certainly need to approach this play with a liberal mindset. The 6 male characters are mixed in a tapestry of love affairs, cast in the shadow of the AIDS virus. The play, lasting just under two hours, is set ten years on from the groups’ graduation. Amid the flatshare scenes, the audience grow to love and loath certain characters. I certainly had my favourites; Benny, a cockney bus driver, stood out in the most macho of roles, and was hilarious in contrast with the charismatic Daniel, who pranced around the set with the most fabulous flourish. Unlucky-in-love Guy was perhaps my favourite though – the chubby and bespectacled loveable loser who is utterly devoted to John but cannot find the courage to declare his love.
The audience begin to learn how all the men are at risk of the ‘disease’. Daniel is having a long term relationship with Reg (who never actually makes an appearance on set) whilst John is having an affair with him, and other characters – Bernie, and Benny – also seem to have had fleeting ‘connections’ with the mysterious character. It seems Reg doesn’t appear anywhere, yet has been everywhere.
When the encore is held at the end of the show it’s almost surprising to see only 6 actors due to the intricate nature of the story. If you fancy seeing ‘My Night with Reg’, expect sharp wit, bring an open mind and be prepared for a few glimpses of nudity!
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