Reagan Kelly: A Revolutionary Comedy Production

by Raquel Blankevoort

Photo by: Hennessey and promo photo featuring artwork 1,000 Kisses by Kieran Butler

Very rarely will you come across any theatrical production that so accurately reflects the mental, physical and romantic struggles that come with adulthood and all the adjacent responsibilities. Not to mention the trauma of the past and the fear of the future. This is exactly what comedy play Reagan Kelly so perfectly and powerfully tackles. Coordinated by New South Wales University Theatrical Society (NUTS) and performed in the depths of Studio 1 at Esme Timber Creative Lab, Director Rachael Adamson takes you on a journey of heartbreak, unsuspecting love and self-sabotage in her hilariously brilliant play. 

Written through the perspective of main character Reagen Kelly (Emma Johns), a former school captain going through the motions of a troubled past and somewhat wasting away in the party scene but after waking up one morning in the bed of 19-year-old Guy (Daniel Slachov), Reagan begins to wonder if her life could be better if she just played by the rules. 

Reagan and Guy’s relationship is hilarious and perfectly cast, showing you the awkwardness of meeting in a gay nightclub and then switching it up to a beautiful relationship oozing with chemistry. Their storyline itself is the highlight of the performance and one that we didn't get to see enough of! The play itself not only focuses on Reagan, but also highlights each of the supporting characters and their own individual struggles of gay love, the feeling of losing yourself in a marriage, and just wishing you could belong to the person you love. Involving an intimate cast of 7 you immediately begin to recognise the strange quirks and personalisations of each character and grow to love and understand each of them as well as the life-changing decisions they all make. 

Photo by Hennessey

Roy Wallace-Cant who plays Reagan’s twin brother Oliver was a continuously developing character whose plot twist decisions will make you both love and hate him. Isha Lewis plays his fiancé Bianca, bringing elegance and calm onstage. Angus Crampton is Reagan’s gay best friend Hugh, who brings sass and is an iconic comedic relief whose character is just as deeply complex as Reagan's. Finally, Sharlini Amy Williams and Noah Cohen Stoddart play the clueless parents Kristy and Ewan whose relationship has clearly lost its spark but still desperately fight to stay together. 

You can tell just how much work director Adamson has put into developing each of these characters, who are able to deliver comedy-filled fast scenes and then switches to express so many devastating emotions in the next. Speaking of scene changes, so much effort goes behind each of the props, with each scene change effortlessly transporting you to a new space with the lighting team creatively emphasising the spaces.

The smart, witty and incredibly relevant script is so thoughtfully delivered by the cast, with no shame in its language and cleverly mastered sexual scenes. Just be prepared for a 2-hour long rollercoaster ride of emotional self-sabotaging decisions and be sure to look at all the trigger and content warnings listed on the ticketing page, because you best believe they are all represented throughout the play. 

Reagan Kelly is a definite must-see with a little something for everyone to enjoy with the message of forgiveness and self-love, being the most important thing when it comes to moving forward and a lot of fiery plot twists thrown at you. 

Reagen Kelly is playing until the 15th of April and can get your tickets at Humanitix or just click the link down below:

Raquel Blankevoort is a current second-year student studying Media and Communications with a major in Journalism. A lover of all the arts, especially theatre and music she is often found researching the latest music news or saving up to see a new theatre production in town. You will most likely find her binge-watching TV shows or learning something new on the piano.

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