In London to see the revival of this play from the 90s. It is a great comedy and shows the pressure points in relationships among friends, especially when love is involved. The fact that all the friends are gay adds to the poignancy and the humour. The poignancy comes from the background spectre of AIDS which affects each of the men in different ways; this play is set in the 80s when so many young men were lost.
The ‘Reg’ of the title is never seen but much discussed and is a major presence in the lives of the men. How he affects them is revealed as one scene gives way to another. Each scene shows how time has moved on. Through the play we see friends gather for reunions and funerals.
I missed out on the play when it was first produced in the mid- 90s but I saw the BBC version made for television. I was glad to finally see it on stage. It was written by Kevin Elyot who died last year.
I came away with one question: is it still the case that gay friends gather together as it seemed, from this play they did in the 80s? I wonder because I hope we have moved on, become a more tolerant society, especially where love is involved and love is where it falls. I have a hope that, although gay friends and couples have much in common with other gay friends, the need to huddle together for safety is no longer there. In any case, they had some fantastic one liners in this play.
‘My Night with Reg’ is in my hinterland. What’s in yours?