My Night with Reg – Donmar Warehouse:
Previewing from the end of July, My Night with Reg will inevitably be seen as a poignant testament to its playwright Kevin Elyot. who died aged 62 on June 7th this year.
On its premiere, My Night With Reg defined a moment in the lives of gay men and became an instant classic. The comedy is set in London’s gay community in the summer of 1985 against the back drop of the mounting AIDS crisis. Old friends and new gather at Guy’s London flat to party through the night.
For me, this is the generation I grew up with; at the time the play premiered I was working at the London Contemporary Dance Theatre. It was the first place I’d ever encountered where sexual preference wasn’t questioned. I’d lost one good friend already, not to AIDS but because his Catholic family’s refusal to accept his sexual preferences had led him to take his own life. It’s easy to forget that at the time gay men and drug users were regarded as ‘authors of their own misfortune’ to the extent that the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police felt able to speak publically on how the police should interact with people with AIDS:
“Everywhere I go I see evidence of people swirling around in the cesspool of their own making. Why do homosexuals freely engage in sodomy and other obnoxious sexual practices knowing the dangers involved?”
Elyot’s play normalised that vision and through tragi-comedy brought a human touch to an inflammatory situation.
The show opens at the Donmar Warehouse on 31st July and Executive Producer Kate Pakenham and Artistic Director Josie Rourke commented, “Director Robert Hastie had been working with Kevin on script preparation, casting and design for the forthcoming production of Kevin’s play My Night With Reg. Kevin’s passing makes the whole team at the Donmar resolved to present the production in tribute to Kevin’s life and work. In the meantime our thoughts and condolences are with Kevin’s friends and family.”
Donmar Warehouse presents
MY NIGHT WITH REG
By Kevin Elyot
Dates: Thurs 31 July – Sat 27 September 2014
Press night: Tues 5 August 2014
Director: Robert Hastie
Designer: Peter McKintosh
Lighting Designer: Paul Pyant
Sound Designer: Gregory Clarke
Full cast: Matt Bardock, Jonathan Broadbent, Richard Cant, Julian Ovenden, Lewis Reeves and Geoffrey Streatfeild
‘What’s a night between friends?’
Tickets for the 20th anniversary production of Kevin Elyot’s Olivier and Evening Standard award-winning play My Night With Reg are on sale now. The comedy will open at the Donmar Warehouse 31 July 2014, directed by current Donmar Warehouse Trainee Associate Director Robert Hastie.