“A modern classic… wickedly funny as well as deeply affecting” —Telegraph
“A play of genius... sublimely moving, genuinely funny and exquisitely observed” —Daily Mail
“Beautifully funny and achingly sad… what keeps the play from feeling like a period piece, irrespective of the advances in our understanding of HIV/AIDS, is its enduring grasp of human nature.” —Time Out
“An instant classic… a lovely, touching play about old friendships and sudden liaisons” —WhatsOnStage
“Sad, funny… a beautifully observant study of friendship, longing and betrayal” —Evening Standard
“Often desperately sad, it always glows with compassion and is brimming with effervescent humour.” —The Arts Desk
“Laughter with a killer punchline” —The Times
Kevin Elyot’s Olivier and Evening Standard Award–winning comedy, My Night with Reg, defined a moment in the lives of gay men and became an instant classic on its premiere at the Royal Court and in the West End.
At Guy’s London flat, friends old and new gather to party through the night. This is the summer of 1985, and for Guy and his circle the world is about to change forever. Deliciously funny and bittersweet, Kevin Elyot’s play captures the fragility of friendship, happiness and life itself.
My Night With Reg first premiered at the Royal Court Theatre, London, in 1994, and went on to win the Evening Standard and Olivier Awards for Best Comedy. This new edition was published alongside the first major revival of the play at the Donmar Warehouse, London, in 2014, directed by Robert Hastie. It includes introductions by Hastie, Roger Michell, who directed the premiere, and the Booker Prize–winning novelist Alan Hollinghurst.
Born in Birmingham in 1951, and educated there at King Edward’s School and then at Bristol University, Kevin Elyot was an actor before becoming a writer.
He won the Samuel Beckett Award for his first play, Coming Clean (1982), staged by the Bush Theatre, London. Subsequent stage work includes a version of Ostrovsky’s Artists and Admirers (RSC, 1992); My Night with Reg (Royal Court Theatre, 1994), which was hailed as “a play of genius” by the Daily Mail, won the Evening Standard and Laurence Olivier Awards for Best Comedy and ran for almost a year in the West End; The Day I Stood Still (National Theatre, 1998); Mouth to Mouth (Royal Court, 2001), which also transferred to the West End; and Forty Winks (Royal Court, 2004).
Kevin’s screenplays include Killing Time (BBC, 1990), which won the Writers’ Guild Award for Best TV Play or Film; an adaptation of The Moonstone (BBC, 1996); the film version of My Night with Reg (BBC, 1997); No Night is Too Long (2002), adapted from the novel by Barbara Vine (the pseudonym of Ruth Rendell) for BBC Films/Alliance. He adapted six of Agatha Christie’s Marple novels as well as three of her Poirot novels for television, including the series’ final episode Curtain. Other screenplays include Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky (BBC, 2005), adapted from the novel by Patrick Hamilton; Riot at the Rite (BBC, 2005); Clapham Junction (2007), a film for Darlow Smithson and Channel 4, starring Rupert Graves, Paul Nicholls and Luke Treadaway; and Christopher and His Kind (Mammoth Screen/BBC, 2011), based on Christopher Isherwood’s novel, starring Matt Smith, Lindsay Duncan, Imogen Poots and Toby Jones.
Kevin died in June 2014, shortly before the Donmar Warehouse revival of My Night with Reg.