My Night with Reg ★★★★★ The Turbine Theatre | Jul 21 - Aug 21, 2021


My Night with Reg seemed likely to be in safe hands from the moment we saw Lee Newby's superbly realistic set. Kevin Elyot's frequently revived tragicomedy, written in 1994 but set in the early days of AIDS, still hits home without trying too hard. Here it receives one of its best revivals yet in Matt Ryan's immaculately detailed production which is beautifully lit by Rachel Sampley. Ryan doesn't rush and allows Elyot's writing to speak for itself as the truths about loss and betrayal gradually emerge. All six actors give first-rate performances. Moments of real emotion are juxtaposed with zinging one-liners – especially from Stephen K. Amos and Alan Turkington. We particularly enjoyed Gerard McCarthy's flamboyant Daniel who vacillates between superficially, wildly camp and genuinely heartbroken. His almost whispered, despairing monologue as he comes to terms with the loss of his lover, the unseen Reg, is delivered from the heart. Paul Keating as Guy, the host described as so cautious he "masturbates in Marigolds," is also outstanding. Loyal, fastidious, shy and very funny Guy has been smitten with John since university, but his adoration is unrequited. Edward M. Corrie plays John with emotional and physical charm and an almost arrogant veneer of insouciance. He seems incapable of finding another soulmate – not even the cute decorator, Eric, delightfully played by James Bradwell. Both men give fully rounded and brave performances. As this excellent evening closes it is John's final abject loneliness that is the abiding image. Is his cough significant...? This is a terrific revival.

Rated: ★★★★★

Reviewed by D.S.J.
Photo by Mark Senior.

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