A tribute to Kevin Elyot

Monday, June 09, 2014

Kevin ElyotNick Hern Books is saddened to learn of the death of playwright Kevin Elyot, who died this weekend following a long illness.

An acclaimed writer for both stage and screen, Kevin's works include My Night With Reg (Royal Court, winner of the 1994 Olivier and Evening Standard Awards for Best Comedy), The Day I Stood Still (National Theatre), Mouth to Mouth (Royal Court and Albery Theatre), and, for TV, Clapham Junction (Darlow Smithson/Channel 4), Christopher and His Kind (Mammoth Screen/BBC), and numerous episodes of Marple (ITV Productions). 

Nick Hern, who published Kevin's play My Night With Reg alongside its 1994 premiere, said:

'I’ll always be grateful to Kevin Elyot for two principle reasons. One, as the author of some of the wittiest, most poignantly acerbic plays of the 1990s; and two as the inadvertent saviour of Nick Hern Books, which had not long struggled into independent life when My Night With Reg transferred from the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs to the Criterion in the West End where it ran for seven glorious months before transferring again to the Playhouse. Thanks to the Royal Court, Nick Hern Books was supplying the Criterion with programme/texts, and I remember delivering over 5000 copies a month to the stage door throughout the run, thus generating badly needed income for the fledgling NHB.

'Kevin in person could be as wittily acerbic as his writing. When I read him the draft blurb for a volume of his collected plays which ended, ‘Kevin lives in London near Hampstead Heath’, with a twinkle in his eye he suggested adding,  ‘But doesn’t go there much anymore.’'

My Night With Reg is revived at the Donmar Warehouse from 31 July.