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Applications open for Kevin Elyot Award 2022

Kevin Elyot in 2007 Phil Fisk

Press release issued: 8 March 2022

After taking a break last year because of the pandemic, the University of Bristol’s Theatre Collection has opened applications for the 2022 Kevin Elyot Award – created in memory of the acclaimed actor and writer.

The Kevin Elyot Award is an annual award of £3,000 given to support a writer-in-residence at the University of Bristol Theatre Collection.

It is made in memory of Kevin Elyot (1951-2014) - an alumnus of the University Drama Department – and the influence he has had on writing and the Arts.

It is hoped that the award will enable a writer to be inspired by his work and help them develop their own practice.

The Kevin Elyot Archive is held at the Theatre Collection, and comprises scripts, correspondence, manuscript and publicity material detailing Elyot’s working process from initial idea to finished product.

The award has been generously funded by an endowment given to the University by members of Kevin’s family and will support a promising writer, practitioner or scholar to begin the process of creating a new written work.

The award holder will use 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.

Previous winners of the award, Lucy Bell, Erdem Asvar, Ian McHugh, Jon Berry and Deanna Rodger have produced thought-provoking work in response to the archive.

Further details of the award and application process can be found here. The deadline for applications is midnight on Wednesday 20 April 2022.

Jo Elsworth, Director of the Theatre Collection, said: “Kevin Elyot’s process for adapting novels for television is also well documented in the archive, alongside documents reflecting Kevin’s acting career, prior to turning to writing.

“The content relating to his plays, including the seminal My Night with Reg, demonstrates his creative process and his emphasis on the importance of style and form.

“It is hoped that through exploring his written work, the award holder will take inspiration from his approach and that Kevin’s legacy will enable and inspire the creation of new work by new generations of writers.”

Further information

The Theatre Collection was founded in 1951 to support the establishment of Drama as an academic discipline in the UK and has grown to become one of the world’s leading collections relating to the history of British theatre and live art. The Theatre Collection comprises over 140 named collections and archives, including actors and collectors Raymond Mander and Joe Mitchenson. 

It also holds artworks, audio visual material, costumes, designs, set models, playbills and programmes of this most ephemeral of art forms.  The collections are particularly strong from the late 18th century onwards and document the onstage and offstage life of theatre. It provides a unique insight into theatre and live art, their creative processes and broader cultural contexts. The Theatre Collection’s holistic approach to collecting across archives and objects, and the interconnectedness between the collections, make it an outstanding research resource.

In 2020 it was awarded Designated status by Arts Council England in recognition of its national significance.

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