Paul Taylor-Mills from The Turbine Theatre on re-opening with My Night with Reg and their new LGBT season

Paul Taylor-Mills, artistic director of The Turbine Theatre, tells Stephen Vowles about the Battersea based theatre’s re-opening with the classic gay play My Night with Reg by Kevin Elyot and the upcoming LGBTQ+ season.

Hi Paul, can you tell Boyz readers about your new season of Queer Theatre at The Turbine? 

We’re thrilled to be re-opening The Turbine Theatre with Kevin Elyot’s masterpiece My Night With Reg. It’s a seminal play in the gay theatre canon and I’m thrilled that our preview audiences are connecting to the play as much as I did the first time I saw it. I read it again during a rainy afternoon during lockdown this time last year. The incredible thing about the play is it demonstrates how far we’ve come in the last 40 years and at the same time how far we’ve got to go. 

Did you have a hand in choosing the plays that are being staged; My Night with Reg proving to be a good choice as it’s such a touching comedy drama?

The incredible thing about Kevin’s play is its ability to connect with all kinds of audiences. You don’t have to be a gay man to understand and empathise with complications that the AIDS epidemic brought to society. There is no doubt that there is an added resonance to the play after the last year and being in a world where we’re all trying to understand our lives during the current health crisis.

It must be a fantastic feeling to have The Turbine back open and welcoming theatregoers. What effect did the pandemic have on  you?

It’s been a really difficult year for everyone but theatres have been really hit hard. Most of the workforce in the theatre are freelancers and therefore if they don’t work then they don’t get paid. It’s really important that we do what we can to support theatres; big, small, local and West End to ensure that we can get this very important industry working again. As we move towards a new kind of normal, theatre is going to be a special healer that brings communities together like it has for hundreds of years and I’m proud to be a part of that.

In the coming weeks and months what are the other LGBTQ+ plays you have scheduled in the queer season?

Someone asked me the other day if I had deliberately programmed the theatre with an LGBTQ + focus. It suddenly dawned on me that my initial plan was to never do this and this has happened by mistake, a beautiful mistake. We still haven’t announced our next production but I am delighted to be saying that we are gonna be putting the “L“ into LGBTQ + and are staging a musical based on a cult lesbian film. Keep an eye on our socials to find out what it is.

Finally what are your dreams and aspirations, and plans for the future? 

We’d only been operational for eight months before we had to stop because of Covid madness. This opportunity forced us to look at the work we make and how we connect with our audience. There are lots of precious relationships that were formed because of this. As we move forward we want to make sure we stick to our original aspirations which is to ensure that The Turbine Theatre is a home for new work and new artists. That said, I’m a firm believer that things happen for a reason and there are lots of beautiful nuggets of gold which have come out of the last year which I hope to hold on tight to as we move forward.

Read more on The Turbine Theatre’s re-opening and new productions at

Photos by Mark Senior

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