On Wednesday, 10th September Mark took place in a Donmar Warehouse panel linked to the revival of Kevin Elliot’s My Night With Reg, which is currently playing and is a revival. The play was originally presented in 1994. The panel consisted of moderator David Benedict of Variety, Lisa Power, Neil Bartlett, Matt Cain and of course Mark. If you don’t know the other names, I strongly recommend you having a google or a click as they have all played and are playing important roles in LGBTQ+ life, especially in arts and activism.
Introduced as one of a panel of ‘Hyphenates’, people who do more than one thing, Mark was announced as actor-writer-director and that that would do as it would take too long to go through all of the hyphens in his CV. What follows are some of Mark’s contributions to the 45 minute event. The conversation was very wide ranging and I was very glad to hear all the contributors’ thoughts. Although presented in isolation here, these comments were made as part of a conversation between five people. This is my recollection only and should not be used or viewed as a verbatim record.
The first part was led by the moderator, David Benedict. I have added links or explanations to some of the debates and cultural/UK specific things mentioned that might not be well known elsewhere!
On his first ‘gay theatre’ experience:
Basil Brush and the Beanstalk and Christopher Biggins in panto was good enough for him, even if it did make him miss the fourth episode of The Brain of Morbius (1976). However, mainly it was first of all with dance in the form of Michael Clark with whom Mark said he was “obsessed” with and saw quite a lot.
Michael Clark is a classically trained ballet dancer who became interested in choreography early on and started his own company in the early 1980s. Here is an example of his style (with early Sherlock fandom link curiously enough) and here with The Fall.
Mark also claimed a “slightly encyclopedic” knowledge of all the Play for Today plays touching on gay issues. Then he moved to London and saw The Fastest Clock in the Universe in 1992 starring a 19 year old Jude Law and Mark joked that since then he’d “never looked back”.