My Night with Reg – Kevin Elyot

‘The first worthwhile British AIDS play, said the drama lecturer in our group. ‘An excellent commentary on the trauma caused by the advent of AIDS,’ said another. One character obsessively checks his body every day for any sign of a lesion. There’s a nice balance of wit and darkness, nice little twists among its dark humour. Not everyone liked it, however. ‘If went through my brain like a sieve. I didn’t take anything away.’ Maybe it’s better in production and has less impact in print.

To what extent does it satirise gay men? Or is it holding up a mirror. Endless small-talk about new gadgets, conservatories and plants as an avoidance of the fact that someone has just died.

There’s an amusing take on air-stewards, with their ‘false tans, false smiles, wiggling their bottoms in everyone’s face.’ Quite consoling for a friend who has just broken up with one.

There’s also bad taste: ‘an hotel that made Treblinka seem like paradise.’

But what was Reg really like?

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