Kevin Elyot Archive

Overview

Kevin Elyot (1951 - 2014) was best known for writing the hit My Night With Reg. He was born Kevin Lee in Birmingham in 1951, educated at Kind Edward School, and then studied Drama at the University of Bristol, graduating in 1973. He was writing from an early age, before he went to university but following graduation he first found modest success with acting and had a successful career, as shown by the number and variety of roles he played, evidenced in his archive.

It was as a writer, however, that Elyot was most successful, with hits like My Night With Reg (1994), which transferred to the West End, and was translated into German, Spanish and Portuguese (amongst others) and produced around the work, including the US, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. It was also made into a BBC film in 1995.

Alongside writing his own work, Elyot also undertook adaptations for television - most notably of Agatha Christie novels for Granada. He adapted a total of nine of Christie's works between 2003-2013, mainly Miss Marple or Poirot. He also adapted Christie's And Then There Were None for the stage in 2005.

Elyot also wrote original works for radio and television alongside his stage work, throughout his career.

What the collection holds

This contains material relating to his early acting career at school, university and afterwards. It also charts his development as a writer, containing material relating to all his works for stage, screen and radio including many adaptations. Throughout the archive his process is shown with the number of drafts and reworkings of scripts. Included are a number of incomplete or never produced works, mainly from early in his career but present throughout.

The online catalogue for this collection can be viewed here:
KE - Kevin Elyot (playwright) Archive

Further information

When the Kevin Elyot archive was donated to the Theatre Collection, the Kevin Elyot Award was also established, with an endowment made by Elyot's family. This award is made annually to a playwright in the form of a subsidised residency based at the Theatre Collection and taking the Kevin Elyot as inspiration for creating new work.

The inaugural recipient of the award in 2016 was Ian McHugh, followed in 2017 by Jon Berry

Kevin Elyot 2007
Kevin Elyot in 2007 Image credit: Phil Fisk
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