Last year the best production I saw on stage was Robert Hastie's revelatory revival of Kevin Elyot's MY NIGHT WITH REG, a play that had languished in memories for nearly 20 years. The National should hang their head in shame for leaving Elyot's key work on the shelf. But then we probably would not have had this revival with this particular cast. My original blog is here
I was lucky enough to see it at the Donmar twice but now it has transferred for a limited season to the Apollo Theatre - ceiling staying up nicely - and it was great to see it again. It was interesting to see it on the bigger proscenium stage and to see how the cast were adapting their performances to a bigger auditorium.
I am happy to report that apart from a slight broadening of a couple of performances, Hastie's production is still a marvel, funny and profound by turn with the cast of six working seamlessly together to keep the action ricocheting between them while beneath lies caverns of subtext.
Kevin Elyot always plays with the concepts of time, consequences and memory and what struck me seeing REG again was how skillfully he does this, how something significant at the start of the play is dismissed as a half-remembered memory by the end, how things important to one person are forgotten by the other, how when someone dies what remains are half-remembered moments in time.
Geoffrey Streatfeild as art-dealer Daniel, Julian Ovendon as the rootless John, Jonathan Broadbent as lonely Guy, Richard Cant as the terminally dull Bernie, Matt Bardock as the ever-randy Benny and Lewis Reeves as the plain-speaking younger lad Eric are giving memorable, heartbreaking performances that deserve all the plaudits they have received - do yourself a favour and get to see this once-in-a-lifetime production.
What I am now wondering is if I can make it a four-in-a-lifetime production... Click on the banner to book.