A tragic-comic gay comedy of manners, Kevin Elyot’s award–winning play, My Night With Reg, makes a welcome return to Sydney’s New Theatre this February as part of the 2019 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
At Guy’s London flat, old friends and new gather to party through the night. This is the summer of 1983, and for Guy and his circle the world is about to change forever. The story follows these men over several years, through the ups-and-downs of their lives and relationships, and the chain of deception set off by the promiscuous and dangerously attractive Reg.
Funny and bittersweet, this award-winning modern classic captures the fragility of happiness and of life itself. Its compassionate and honest portrayal of friendship, longing and betrayal is full of truth, deeply moving, and brimming with laughs.
Directed by Alice Livingstone (The Elements of an Offence, The HIV Monologues, The Little Dog Laughed), My Night With Reg features Peter Flett, who co-produced and appeared in the first Sydney production of the play two decades ago, as Assistant Director. The design team consists of Tom Bannerman (set), Sallyanne Facer (costumes), Mehran Mortezaei (lighting), Christina Hatzis (vision) and Michael Huxley (sound).
The cast includes Michael Brindley (Next Lesson, Fucking Men), Steve Corner (The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Nell Gwynn), Steven Ljubovic (Nell Gwynn) and Nick Curnow (Enron), plus two actors making their New Theatre debuts: James Gordon, who’s recently relocated from NZ, and John-Paul Santucci, who’s returned to Australia after studying in New York.
So, what makes a play written in the early 90s, about a group of gay men in 80s London, still relevant today? “It’s the deeply human, recognisable characteristics, foibles and behaviour that makes it timeless,” says director Alice Livingstone.
“Yes, this was the decade when AIDS was starting to devastate the gay community, and the disease and its impact backgrounds the story, but this is not an ‘AIDS-play’. We can all relate to the delights and pitfalls of friendship. Kevin Elyot has written a brilliantly structured farce, full of laugh-out-loud moments, that also slams you in the guts and breaks your heart.”
My Night With Reg was produced as part of the 20th Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in 1998; and New Theatre is thrilled to be revisiting this multi-award winning comedy for this year’s festival, in only its second production in Sydney.
Kevin Elyot was a British playwright, screenwriter and actor. In addition to My Night with Reg, his theatre works include Coming Clean, The Day I Stood Still, Mouth to Mouth, Forty Winks and Twilight Song. His film credits include Clapham Junction and Killing Time. His stage work has been performed by leading theatre companies including the Royal Court, National Theatre, Bush Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Donmar Warehouse and in the West End.
“Kevin Elyot’s 1994 modern classic about gay love, life and loss in the shadow of AIDS, is the most delicately calibrated piece of writing… British drama doesn’t get better than this.” – Evening Standard (UK)
Director: Alice Livingstone Featuring: Michael Brindley, Steve Corner, Nick Curnow, James Gordon, Steven Ljubovic, John-Paul Santucci Set Designer: Tom Bannerman Lighting Designer: Mehran Mortezaei Costume Designer: Sallyanne Facer Sound Designer: Michael Huxley Vision Designer: Christina Hatzis Assistant Director: Peter Flett Dialect Coach: Nick Curnow Production Manager: David Marshall-Martin Stage Manager: Amber Spooner Design Assistant: Samantha Chebatte Operators: Ole Borch, Ricci Costa
My Night With Reg
New Theatre, 542 King Street, Newtown
Season: 7 February – 9 March 2019 (previews: 5 & 6 February)
Information and Bookings: www.newtheatre.org.au
Image: © Kiselev Andrey Valerevich/shutterstock