Kevin Elyot Archive


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 King 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 world, 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 collection 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

You can read more about Kevin Elyot's career in this obituary in The Guardian.

The Kevin Elyot Award

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 promising writer, creative practitioner or scholar in the form of a subsidised residency based at the Theatre Collection. The award holder uses the Kevin Elyot archive as well as other holdings within the Theatre Collection to inspire a new dramatic work or other creative or academic outcome.  

Please have a look at the Kevin Elyot Award page for more information and a full list of the award recipients.

Kevin Elyot
Kevin Elyot in 2007 Image credit: Phil Fisk
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