Theatre alumnus’ work lives on: the Kevin Elyot in memoriam award 2020

Kevin Elyot Archive at Bristol's Theatre Collection
Part of the Kevin Elyot archive

We are delighted with the announcement of Lucy Bell as the 2020 recipient of the Kevin Elyot Award for writer-in-residence at Bristol’s Theatre Collection. The award will support Lucy in creating a new dramatic work inspired by Elyot’s archive, which was donated to the Theatre Collection by his sister following his death in 2014. The archive comprises scripts, correspondence, manuscripts and publicity material, detailing Elyot’s working process from initial idea to finished product.

The Award is an annual award of £3,000 made in memory of Department of Theatre alumnus Kevin Elyot (1951-2014), and the influence he has had on writing and the arts. It has been generously funded by an endowment gift given to the University of Bristol by Kevin’s family.

Kevin Elyot's sister Pauline visiting his archive at the Theatre Collection
Pauline Lee, Kevin’s sister, visited Bristol’s Theatre Collection in 2019 to see parts of Kevin’s archive. Credit: Dave Pratt/University of Bristol.

Kevin Elyot started his career as an actor but went on to achieve great success through his ground-breaking plays and adaptations. His archive at the Theatre Collection comprises material relating to his entire career, including notebooks, drafts of scripts, and works that remained incomplete or unproduced. When Kevin’s sister, Pauline Lee, visited his archive in 2019 to view some of this material, she also met previous recipients of the Award, who spoke of the inspiration they drew from this rich source material.

Lucy Bell, playwright
Lucy Bell, recipient of the 2020 Kevin Elyot award

Lucy Bell is a Devon-based playwright who writes funny, unflinching plays about British society, and the often-epic dilemmas of caring. Alongside her writing, Lucy also directs and has delivered theatre-making sessions at The Egg at Theatre Royal Bath, the Theatre Royal Plymouth and Arts University Bournemouth.

“I am obsessed with social history and the minutiae of how people live out their days in different social and political contexts. The idea of getting a pass card to University of Bristol’s Theatre Collection, plus time and space amongst those texts, is a dream come true.”


The Kevin Elyot Award has been made possible through a generous In Memoriam gift from Kevin’s family. To find out more about leaving a gift In Memoriam, please contact Nicola Giblin, Planned Giving Officer, on +44 (0)117 428 4411 or by emailing

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