Who is Kevin Elyot?
Kevin Elyot was a British playwright, born on 18 July 1951, in Handsworth, Birmingham. Although he mostly wrote about gay relationships, the core of his work was ‘the longing for love, and remembrance for loves lost’.
1951 - Born in Handsworth, Birmingham, on 18th July
1961 - Began his ‘love affair’ with the RSC after seeing Christopher Plummer and Eric Porter in Richard III
1962 - Attended King Edward’s School, Birmingham, where he played Desdemona in a school play
1973 - Graduated University of Bristol with a degree in Theatre Studies
1976 - Began his career as an actor with the pioneering company Gay Sweatshop which regularly visited the King’s Head
1981 - Submitted his first play Cosy to the Bush Theatre
1982 - The play opened under the new title Coming Clean at the Bush, under the direction of David Hayman and won the Samuel Beckett Award
1987 - His radio play According to Plan was broadcast on BBC Radio 4
1990 - His first adaptation of detective novel, The Moonstone, premiered at the Worcester Swan while his first television programme Killing Time premiered on the BBC
1991 - His breakthrough play My Night with Reg was commissioned by the Hampstead
1992 - He created a new translation of Alexander Ostrovsky’s Artists and Admirers for the RSC. It was staged at the Barbican Centre’s The Pit on 13th October, directed by Phyllida Lloyd with a cast including Linda Bassett
1993 - The Hampstead passed on My Night with Reg
1994 - The Royal Court’s new Artistic Director Stephen Daldry programmed My Night with Reg in the Upstairs, with Roger Michell directing and a cast including David Bamber and John Sessions. It was a hit and won the Evening Standard Award for Best Comedy and Writers’ Guild Award for Best Fringe Play before transferring to the West End’s Criterion Theatre, and then even larger Playhouse Theatre where Hugh Bonneville joined the cast
1995 - My Night with Reg won an Olivier Award for Best Comedy
1997 - My Night with Reg premiered in New York by The New Group, starring Maxwell Caulfield. Elyot also wrote the film adaptation for My Night with Reg, starring the entire original cast and directed again by Michell which premiered in March of that year. Then later in the year, Elyot’s television adaptation of The Moonstone was broadcast with a cast including Keeley Hawes, Greg Wise and Anthony Sher.
1998 - His play The Day I Stood Still premiered in the Royal National Theatre’s Cottesloe (now Dorfman), directed by Ian Rickson and a cast led by Adrian Scarborough and was nominated for Best Play at the Evening Standard Award
2001 - Elyot returns to the Royal Court, now Downstairs, with Mouth to Mouth starring Lindsay Duncan and was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award and the Evening Standard Award for Best Play
2002 - No Night is Too Long on the BBC starring Lee Williams and Marc Warren, directed by Tom Shankland
2004 - Forty Winks directed by Katie Mitchell opened at the Royal Court Downstairs with a cast of Dominic Rowan and Carey Mulligan
2005 - After having started writing several episodes of Agatha Christie’s Marple and Poirot, Elyot’s final stage play was a version of Christie’s And Then There Were None which opened at the Gielgud Theatre. Whilst on the screen Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky was made into a three-part mini-series starring Sally Hawkins and Bryan Dick.
2007 - Clapham Junction was created for Channel 4 starring Samantha Bond, Rupert Graves, Rachel Blake, Luke Treadaway, Richard Lintern, and Paul Nicholls
2011 - His final television film Christopher and His Kind based on Christopher Isherwood’s life was broadcast on BBC2 and internationally, with a cast of Matt Smith, Toby Jones, Lindsay Duncan, Imogen Poots, and Douglas Booth, directed by Geoffrey Sax
2014 - Kevin Elyot sadly passed away, aged 62, after a long battle with illness. The Donmar were reviving his most successful play, My Night With Reg at the time.
2017 - His final play Twilight Song premieres at The Park Theatre whilst his first play Coming Clean is revived at the King’s Head Theatre
Kevin Elyot's first play Coming Clean aptly opens in the month that celebrates 50 years of decriminalisation of homosexuality 25 July - 26 August 19:00. Check out his fantastic array of work before coming to see where it all started!