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Bristol-based writer, performer and creative producer wins 2022 Kevin Elyot Award

Malaika Kegode

Press release issued: 20 July 2022

Malaika Kegode, an award-winning writer, performer and creative producer from Bristol, has been chosen as the sixth recipient of the annual Kevin Elyot Award by the University of Bristol's Theatre Collection.

The award, created in the memory of the renowned playwright, screenwriter and Bristol Drama alumnus, will support Malaika in creating a new play inspired by Kevin's archive, which was donated to the collection by his family following his death in 2014.

This comprises hundreds of scripts, correspondence, manuscripts and publicity material detailing Kevin's work from initial idea to finished product from across his entire career.

Malaika’s work is focused on uplifting and celebrating the overlooked and misunderstood. Beginning her arts career as a performance poet in 2014, she has since developed her practice to encompass theatre, radio and film writing.

Her gig-theatre show Outlier, an autobiographical piece about addiction and isolation in rural England performed with prog-rock band Jakabol was the first piece of new writing to appear on Bristol Old Vic’s main stage in 2021, and her work has also been featured on BBC Radio 4 and Black Ballad.

Her poetry collections Requite and Thalassic are published by Burning Eye Books. Malaika also works in film and is currently an associate curator at Watershed in Bristol, a resident at Encounters Film Festival and the recipient of the Elspeth Kydd Memorial Prize for Film Studies.

Malaika said: “I was incredibly overwhelmed and grateful to receive this award, feelings that have only grown since starting work in the archive. Forging such a tangible connection with an inspiringly boundary-breaking playwright is a truly special experience. Kevin Elyot's archive is full of wit, tension and - most of all - humanity.

“To handle the notebooks he's written in, to identify with the frustrated scribbles, the triple underlined plot points and studious development of characters makes me feel part of an ongoing journey. A journey that celebrates creativity, even when the very thought of writing is driving you barmy!

“Over my year in the collection, I will be drawing inspiration from Kevin Elyot's plays and process to write a new play that explores sex, femininity and the fractious search for identity in the digital age. I hope to channel Kevin's humour and revolutionary spirit in this story of two women's exploration of desire and connection.” 

Further information

Kevin Elyot (1951 to 2014) was a Bristol alumnus (Drama Department) who started his career as an actor but went on to achieve great success through his ground-breaking plays and adaptations.

The Kevin Elyot Archive is held at the University of Bristol Theatre Collection, His process for adapting novels for television, such as his work with Agatha Christie's Miss Marple and Poirot is also well documented in the archive. The content relating to his plays, including the seminal My Night with Reg, demonstrates his creative process and the particular emphasis he placed on the importance of style and form within a play. To find out more about his archive, visit

The Theatre Collection is one of the world's largest archives of British theatre history and Live Art and is an accredited museum and international research facility open to all. Founded in 1951 to serve the first UK university drama department, our collections cover the period from 1572 to the 21st century and our visitors include everyone from international scholars to family historians.


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