Warwick Arts Centre review: My Night With Reg
My Night With Reg, Warwick Arts Centre, to Saturday. Everyone’s best friend Guy is holding a flatwarming party, but jumping around nervously, as his secret long-term crush John is the first to arrive. Soon outrageous Daniel turns up and they are drinking champagne and raising toasts to “sodomy” and “gross indecency”, and recalling their promiscuous youth. However it’s the 1980s and the spectre of HIV and Aids, generally meaning a death sentence, is hanging over their sexual encounters, and it's complicated.
Daniel is in love with the elusive Reg, Guy is celibate apart from a regretted encounter on holiday, and John has a big secret. The short first act maps out the friends’ relationships, and the second – set after a funeral – introduces couple Benny and Bernie, and more secrets are revealed as the years pass and the relationships develop and twist. The play, by Kevin Elyot, was a 1990s award-winner, and this touching and funny production is by Green Carnation Company which performs LGBTQ+ theatre. Simon Hallman impresses in the central role of Guy, keeping his heartache stoically hidden, while being a confidante for everyone else. Nicholas Anscombe plays John as the uptight ex-public schoolboy living off his family fortune, but with a secret which makes his tears spill. David Gregan-Jones’s Daniel is a floppy-haired fun-lover partying through the agony. Steve Connolly as thuggish Benny is hilarious as he asks if partner Bernie is right to complain his trousers are too tight, and Marc Geoffrey plays Bernie as a stuffy character, but not as dull as he seems. Alan Lewis plays young decorator Eric as a watcher, wiser than his years, who asks some of the most important questions. It’s a sensitive and amusing production, with great 80s music, and somehow not at all dated as we face a new plague which will also kill off friends before their time.
Tickets from: https://www.warwickartscentre.co.uk/