Whatever its faults, New York theatre has virtually patented a new form: the gay comedy of manners. Its origins lie in Mart Crowley's 1968 play The Boys in the Band, dealing with a surprise hetero visitor to a gay birthday bash. Crowley's work launched a series of plays that combined a gay agenda with mass audience appeal. In Britain, leaving aside Joe Orton's taboo-breaking farces, the only real equivalent is Kevin Elyot's My Night With Reg (1994). When will our own writers wake up to the fact that there is now a big market for gay boulevard comedy?More from Michael Billington in The Guardian.