Previewed 17 January 2015, Opened 23 January 2015, Closed 11 April 2015 at the Apollo Theatre in London
The Donmar Warehouse's acclaimed production of Robert Hastie's 20th Anniversary revival of Kevin Elyot's comedy My Night With Reg in London for a strictly limited 12 week season.
Summer 1985. At Guy's London flat old and new friends gather to party through the night, but their world is about to change forever. Both funny and bittersweet Kevin Elyot's play captures the fragility of friendship, happiness and life itself. This production transfers to the West End's Apollo Theatre following an acclaimed sold-out run at the Donmar Warehouse Theatre from July to September 2014. Please note: This production contains smoking and nudity.
The cast features Matt Bardock, Jonathan Broadbent, Richard Cant, Julian Ovenden, Lewis Reeves and Geoffrey Streatfeild who all reprise their roles from the Donmar Warehouse. Please note casting is subject to change without notice. Directed by Robert Hastie with designs by Peter McKintosh, lighting by Paul Pyant and sound by Gregory Clarke. Julian Ovenden's West End stage credits include Jonathan Kent's staging of the new musical Marguerite (Haymarket Theatre 2008) and Adrian Noble's revival of Oscar Wilde's A Woman of No Importance (Haymarket Theatre 2003). Kevin Elyot's West End credits include a new stage adaptation by Kevin Elyot of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None (Gielgud Theatre 2006).
This is the play's first West End revival following the original production which was initially staged at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs in April 1994 before transferring to the West End's Criterion Theatre in November 1994 and then to the Playhouse Theatre in June 1995, playing for a total of ten months, winning both Olivier and Evening Standard Awards.
When this production transferred to the West End's Apollo Theatre in January 2015, Dominic Cavendish in the Daily Telegraph hailed it as being "the most artificial and the truest, the funniest and most searing play to be found on the London stage. It matters absolutely that all the characters in it are gay, and it matters not a jot." Fiona Mountford in the London Evening Standard wrote that "Robert Hastie's Donmar Warehouse revival takes up its rightful place in the West End... British drama doesn't get better than this." Dominic Maxwell in the Times praised as "a first-rate revival of a first-rate play: an exceptional ensemble in a cannily plotted, adroitly painful story... that is part farce, part tragedy and wholly worth seeing." Ian Shuttleworth in the Financial Times highlighted how "Kevin Elyot balances the drawing-room comedy and the poignancy with rare delicacy. Robert Hastie, following his first full Donmar directorial credit, fully deserves this West End transfer, and shows himself every bit as sensitive to the balance as Elyot."
When this production opened at the Donmar Warehouse in August 2014 Patrick Marmion in the Daily Mail hailed it as "a landmark production of a landmark play." Michael Billington in the Guardian said this is "a piece that shows that Elyot had the capacity to combine clever theatrical carpentry with emotional honesty... Played straight through at 110 minutes, Robert Hastie's production catches the secret fears and surface buoyancy of this group of companions and gets fine performances all round." Sarah Hemming in the Financial Times highlighted that "Kevin Elyot's delicately crafted 1994 play... is often wickedly funny, but the funnier it becomes, the sadder you feel - a balance beautifully controlled in Robert Hastie's touching and superbly acted revival." Kate Bassett in the Times noted that, "though in some ways a period piece, it has stood the test of time." Charles Spencer in the Daily Telegraph explained that "there is an undeniable sadness about this highly welcome revival... its author Kevin Elyot died in June after a long illness and was unable to see this beautifully judged, superbly acted revival of a work that strikes me as a modern classic." Henry Hitchings in the London Evening Standard wrote that "Robert Hastie’s revival triumphs through a smartly judged mixture of exuberance and delicate understatement, highlighting the cool precision of Kevin Elyot’s writing — an assured command of structure and a gift for incisive comedy."
"Kevin Elyot's masterstroke in My Night With Reg was to marry English drawing-room comedy and its social embarrassments, overt contrivances and witty repartee, with French new wave cinema, in which characters talk explicitly and at length about their feelings. It is not for nothing that the title references Eric Rohmer's Ma Nuit Chez Maud... That the play retains its power in the very different medical and social conditions of today is a tribute both to the truth of Elyot's writing and the sensitivity of Robert Hastie's production. In a brilliant ensemble, Jonathan Broadbent as a homely loner, Julian Ovenden as a tarnished golden boy and Lewis Reeves a chirpy newcomer, stand out." The Sunday Express
"In Robert Hastie's first-rate production, Elyot's portrait of five friends, all men, all gay, never ceases to scintillate. It begins with a housewarming in the 1980s; the toasts are to sodomy and gross indecency. It glides through two further meetings after funerals. It pretends it knows what dull is, but even a character meant to be a bore is so well observed that he becomes mesmeric in his pernickety obsession with conservatories... Robert Hastie's vivid production should make his name as a director. He recreates the period while making the play seem new-minted." The Observer
"Every line carries a twinge in Kevin Elyot's immaculate My Night with Reg. It's a very British comedy of dodgy manners: up to the kidneys in embarrassment, replete with unfortunate innuendo and a steady patter of summer rain on the conservatory roof... Robert Hastie, the Donmar's trainee associate director, takes full opportunity of his first full production here: tender and consistently funny. On a polite livingroom set with a pulsing neon surround, he treats everyone gently, reining in the cruelty, if missing some of the heart-pummelling melancholy." The Sunday Times
My Night With Reg in London at the Apollo Theatre previewed from 17 January 2015, opened on 23 January 2015 and closed on 11 April 2015.