Kevin Elyot Playwright Dies at 62 After Long Illness

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Kevin Elyot

The playwright Kevin Elyot, who has died aged 62 after a long illness, is best remembered for his brilliantly written and imaginatively structured tragicomedy My Night With Reg (1994). It is often claimed as a “gay play”, but although Elyot wrote often about gay relationships, his real subject was the longing for love and remembrance of loves lost. Elyot was first an actor, appearing with the pioneering group Gay Sweatshop, and in London at the Bush theatre and the King’s Head; second a playwright; and third a television screenplay writer not above scripting the Agatha Christie stories of both Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot over the past 10 years.



The Beginning

Elyot, who was born in Birmingham suburb of Handsworth in 1951, where he was a prominent member of the choir in the Anglo-Catholic church of St Peter’s; he sang in the third performance of Britten’s War Requiem, in Birmingham town hall, and studied the piano. In 1961, his father, Kenneth Lee, took him and his sister to Stratford-upon-Avon to see Christopher Plummer and Eric Porter in Richard III, and he was hooked; he travelled back frequently on his own on the top deck of the number 150 bus and queued for standing places for as many shows as he could see. He was educated at King Edward’s School and at Bristol University was an actor before he made his debut at the Bush Theatre as a playwright in 1982, with ‘Coming Clean’.


The Plays

Coming Clean

An examination of infidelitywithin a gay relationship
1st Production Bush Theatre London 1982
Won the Samuel Beckett Award


1st Production Horseshoe Theatre, Blackpool, UK 1989


The Moonstone

1990 adapted from the novel by Wilkie Collins

Production at Swan Theatre Worcester UK


My Night With Reg 1994

Witty Drama about gay manners and morals in the age of AIDS.

or which he won the Evening Standard and Laurence Olivier Awards for Best Comedy, plus Writers’ Guild and Critics’ Circle Awards.


The Day I Stood Still

In the 60s Horace Jerry and Judy were teenagers. Thirty years later, Jerry is dead, Judy is in love and the gay but hesitant Horace is unable to get on with his life – until he receives a surprise visitor.

1st Production at the Royal National Theatre in 15 January 1998 (Cottesloe Theatre)


Mouth To Mouth

a homecoming party thrown for Dennis and Laura’s teenage son sets the stage for this stylish but acerbic tragi-comedy. Family friend Frank’s appearance at the family reunion throws up secrets from the past best kept hidden, and paves the way for fresh disaster.

1st Production at the Royal Court Theatre Downstairs London 01 Feb 2001


Forty Winks

As in his last play, Mouth to Mouth, elyot shows us the devastating impact of a rootless outsider on a bourgeois family. In this case the hero, Don, is a cosmopolitan drifter who has never got over his schoolboy love for the beautiful Diana. and in four ingeniously structured scenes we watch the quixotic Don invading the married Diana’s fractious Hampstead home. all one can safely reveal is that none of the key characters – including Diana’s boorish husband, gay brother-in-law and narcoleptic daughter – remain untouched by his presence. -Michael Billington, the Guardian

1st Production at the Royal Court Theatre Downstairs London 28 Oct 2004


And Then There Were None

Kevin Elyot has drawn exclusively from the original 1939 novel rather than the Christie’s own 1943 stage version or subsequent screen versions. as part of a major initiative to re-popularise Christie for the 21st century, the piece is being updated with an eye to satisfying the expectations of younger audiences accustomed to more graphic horror on screen. Based on the book “and then there Were None” by Agatha Christie (original title “Ten Little Niggers”). Has original book ending which was changed by Christie when she Adapted it

1st Produced at Gielgud Theatre London 14 October 2005


Artists & Admirers by Alexander Ostrovsky Translated by Kevin Elyot

1st Produced RSC Pit 1992


The Chain Play

One off performance of chain writing to celebrate the National theatre’s 25th anniversary. a scene each from all the authors for a performance on one night

Written By Terry Johnson, Philip Ridley, Charlotte Jones, Lee Hall, Sebastian Barry, Zinnie Harris, Kevin elyot, Nick Dear, Tanika Gupta, Frank McGuinness, Nick Stafford, Stephen Sondheim, Colin Teevan, Patrick Marber, David Lan, Sarah Daniels, Martin She

Olivier Theatre, National Theatre, London 2001

The Movies


Movies – Writer

  • Agatha Christie’s Marple (TV Series) (screenplay – 6 episodes)
  • Endless Night (2013) … (screenplay)
  • The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side (2010) … (screenplay)
  • Agatha Christie: Marple – A Pocket Full of Rye (2008) … (screenplay)
  • Towards Zero (2007) … (screenplay)
  • The Moving Finger (2006) … (screenplay)
  • Show all 6 episodes
  • Poirot 2003-2013 (TV Series) (screenplay – 3 episodes)
  • Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case (2013) … (screenplay)
  • Death on the Nile (2004) … (screenplay)
  • Five Little Pigs (2003) … (screenplay)
  • Christopher and His Kind 2011(TV Movie) (written by)
  • Clapham Junction 2007 (TV Movie) (writer)
  • No Night Is Too Long 2006 (TV Movie)
  • Riot at the Rite 2005 (TV Movie)
  • Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky 2005 (TV Mini-Series) (screenplay)
  • The Moonstone 1997 (TV Movie)
  • My Night with Reg 1997 (play) / (screenplay)
  • The Play on One 1990(TV Series) (writer – 1 episode)
  • Killing Time (1990) … (writer)
Kevin Elyot at


The Acting – Filmography

Wild West TV – 1992
The Bill TV – 1991
Murder East Murder West (TV Movie) – 1990
Bust TV – 1988
Scandalous TV – 1984
Now and Then TV – 1983
The Woman in White TV – 1982)
BBC2 Playhouse TV – 1981
Closing Ranks (TV Movie) – 1980
Play For Today TV – 1980
Grange Hill TV – 1978
Angels TV – 1975
Whodunnit TV – 1975
Rooms TV – 1975



My Night with Reg


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