DIARY: I finally caught up with My Night With Reg

  • @johnhenrywalsh
I finally caught up with My Night With Reg, the award-winning play with the gradually shrinking dramatis personae of bourgeois homosexuals. Despite the excellence of the acting, my attention was constantly distracted. Why all the references to El ton John's name, hometown, lyricist and songs (Reg; Dwight; Pinner; Bernie; Daniel; Benny)? Was the Bernie character's dead-spit impersonation of John Major's voice coincidence or design? And why was it that, amid a parade of supposedly shocking effects - nakedbottoms, wobbling willies, gay fondlings, groinal innuendoes - the only thing that had the audience ooh-ing in shock was a running joke about a man on the telephone who got his sexual kicks from pretending to be a dog?

What is it with dogs and sex these days? Once only J R Ackerley, literary editor of the Listener, went around babbling about his passion for pooches. Now we are knee-deep in brazen canophilia. A new advertising campaign by Gianni Versace features some photographs of Madonna, the well-known singer and former virgin, playing backgammon with a stiffly seated borzoi; elsewhere she can be seen apparently advising a French poodle about its maquillage. Across my desk crashes a collection of new pictures by thestratospherically trendy Bruce Weber; it's called Gentle Giants, it's about huge hairy Newfoundlands and, yep, there are lots of naked chaps hugging them. A new set of paintings by the American naive artist George Rodrigue is called Blue Dog, a homage to a deceased spaniel-terrier called Tiffany. Are you amazed to hear the unfortunate beast turns up surrounded by Classical nudes?

I can see it now. There will soon be a new poster from the RSPCA, sternly warning: "A dog is for life, not just a brief fling".