UK Tour Of Landmark Play My Night With Reg Opens In Salford
Groundbreaking gay play My Night With Reg is set to captivate theatre audiences with a vibrant new revival which embarks on a UK tour this month.
The fresh production of Kevin Elyot’s modern classic, from Manchester-based Green Carnation Company, will tour to selected venues across the North and Midlands this Spring, opening at the Lowry at Salford from January 23-25.
Funny, sad and sweet, Elyot’s comedy about the relationships of a group of gay men and their connections to the unseen yet magnetic Reg is a moving exploration of friendship, happiness and love, and their fragility in the shadow of the 1980s AIDS crisis.
My Night With Reg was premiered at The Royal Court in London in 1994, transferring to the West End where it won accolades including Olivier and Evening Standard awards for best comedy.
It received its New York premiere in 1997, and since then it has enjoyed several revivals, including a second Olivier Award-winning run at the Donmar Warehouse in 2014. A big screen adaptation was filmed in 1997.
An evening of laughter, heartbreak and celebration, Elyot’s razor-sharp wit will be brought to life in a stunning, visual feast that captures the decadence, celebration and uncertainty of 1980s London.
The production is co-directed and co-produced by Green Carnation Company’s two artistic directors Dan Jarvis and Dan Ellis, while award-winning young Leeds-based designer George Johnson-Leigh will bring the play’s 1980s world to life with stunning neon visual effects and an elegant, deconstructed set design.
Green Carnation Company is a Manchester based theatre company dedicated to presenting quality theatre telling queer and LGBTQ+ stories. It enjoyed a sell-out success at the city’s Hope Mill Theatre in 2018 with Alexi Kaye Campbell’s The Pride, and last year took part in the new queer writing festival OutStageUs 2019 with FLUID by Nick Maynard.
Co-artistic director Dan Jarvis says: “This is the first time we’ve toured to mid-scale theatres, which is really exciting for us and part of our ethos as a theatre company. We want to be nationally-recognised for creating LGBT theatre and for taking our work across the regions so that we make sure the best gay theatre isn’t always in London.
“Kevin Elyot’s writing is gorgeous – it’s witty, and it’s really human. This play explores how a group of close friends cope with loss and use their humour, warmth and their friendship to deal with that. That’s something anyone can relate to.
“Elyot’s comedy is believable – it’s not slapstick or farcical but really human. And it’s set in the 80s which for gay audiences is synonymous with time of crisis and fear, but also a time of opportunity and excess and decadence.
“We’re a new, fresh and exciting theatre company. The work we do is dynamic and has got a real aesthetic to it. We work closely with designers and music to recreate a real vibe, and here we’re using neon and synth soundtracks to create that 80s world.”
My Night With Reg stars Nicholas Anscombe (BBC’s Requiem, Bread & Roses Theatre’s Under The Radar) as privileged yet lost John; Steve Connolly as prowling Benny; Marc Geoffrey as long-suffering Bernie; David Gregan-Jones (Russell T Davies’ upcoming Boys with Channel 4) as the flamboyant and Byronesque Daniel, and newcomer Alan Lewis (a trained dancer and singer-songwriter) as the insightful ingenue Eric.
Joining this new cast will be returning Green Carnation Company cast member Simon Hallman (also starring in Russell T Davies’ Boys, Oliver in Green Carnation’s debut production of Alexi Kaye Campbell’s The Pride) as the lovesick and house-proud Guy.