Burnley-born actor shares stage with Hollywood royalty as he scoops Olivier Award
A Burnley-born man shared the stage with Hollywood royalty when he was handed an Olivier Award for the first play he has ever written.
Elliot Warren Murtaugh, whose stage name is Elliot Warren, was among superstars Sir Ian McKellen, The X File's Gillian Anderson and Dame Judy Dench when he was crowned the winner at a glittering awards ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall last Sunday.
The playwright and actor, who is the grandson of Basics Junior Theatre School founder Dennis Murtaugh, was recognised for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre for his play, Flesh and Bone. An Olivier is one of the highest theatre awards to be given out in Britain.
Elliot, who now lives in London, said: "It was mad. We didn't think in our wildest dreams that we'd win. One night, in the beginning, we performed the show to just two people: my mum and a cast member's mate."
But the play went on to have sell-out success at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, at which Elliott scooped a number of awards, before it was flown out for performance in Australia.
And after a showing in Soho, the team received the call to let them know Flesh and Bone was being considered for a Olivier Award nomination.
Elliot, who also directed and starred in the tale with his partner Olivia Brady, added: "We were sat with a cup of tea when it came on the TV to say it had been nominated."
Flesh and Bone, which has a cast of five, is about the troubles of a family living in a tower block due for demolition in East London. It fuses rap, grime music, Cockney rhymes and and Shakespearean poetry.
"It's inspired by my love for film, especially the work of Guy Ritchie and Quentin Tarantino," Elliot said.
"I wanted to bring that fast-paced action from the TV to the stage and create a tale that's visceral, energetic, vibrant and in-your-face. Once you're strapped in for the ride, love or hate it, you can't look away."
Flesh and Bone is now in the early stages of being turned into a TV series while Elliot is writing his second play, has been commissioned to write TV shows and has a couple of acting gigs in the pipeline.
His proud dad, Warren Murtaugh, added: "To win an Oliver award is fantastic. It shows if you work hard you can make an impression. The show itself is brilliant. Elliot's writing has always been exceptional."