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Your night with Kev, at the National

KEVIN ELYOT's My Night with Reg was a smartly observed, painfully bleak comedy of contemporary gay manners which put Aids and HIV on the West End stage and an Olivier and an Evening Standard Theatre Award on the playwright's mantelpiece. Elyot has been relatively quiet since this first rush of success: he's supplied a translation of Alexander Astrovsky's Artists and Admirers to the RSC's Pit, and busked at the BBC with an inexplicably flat TV version of his hit play (heavy-handed despite the presence of John Sessions and the rest of its original cast) and a disappointing adaptation of Wilkie Collins's The Moonstone that - against incredible odds - managed to the exceptionally unexciting. This suggests that his style isn't best served by the camera, so it's a relief to those who were so affected by their night with Reg that Elyot's current project puts his work back on the stage. The Day I Stood Still is an elegaic comedy set in a north London flat, and moving from the Sixties to the present day as it tracks the changing fortunes, sensibilities and interior-decoration ideas of a group of friends (invocations of Hobbits, Jimi Hendrix and, er, Mars Bars are promised). Direction is by Ian Rickson - the man responsible for The Weir and Jez Butterworth's highly-acclaimed Mojo, and soon to be inaugurated as the new artistic director of the Royal Court Theatre. The cast includes Oliver Milburn (above) - star of December's BBC2 film In Your Dreams - and Adrian Scarborough, last at the RNT in John Gabriel Borkmann, and recently seen tripping through the decades in A Dance to the Music of Time. (Cottesloe, SE1, 0171 928 2252, previews from Thurs, opens 22 Jan, to May.) Matthew Sweet

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