TOUCHING THE PAST, a play about Nancy Astor, Britain’s first female MP
STORM feature film based on the SAS’s secret war in Oman is in pre-production with director R. Paul Wilson
NIGHT, a new play, opens at The Old Library, Bodmin December 2019
ALL AT SEA, feature film comedy, was released in September 2019
  • Reigate Independant, June 6 1991
    Thriller that lives up to expectations
    • "WHEN an author of the standing of Hugh James writes a new thriller, the audience can expect a well crafted, skilfully plotted play.
      "Deadlock", cutrently playing at the Thorndike Theatre, Leatherhead, does not disappoint them.
      A thriller, to be effective, depends a great deal on its setting and, in this, Tim Goodchild has excelled. With a manificent Tudor interior, a timbered great hall extending through two floors, and massive beams supporting the roof, it was easy to imagine it as the home of a wealthy publisher...

      Electronic effects were excellent (several credits for remote controls). The staircase lift made impressive theatre and provided spectacular finale when the villain was uncovered.
      Direction, in the hands of Alison Sutcliffe, was perfection and should ensure that the play will have success in the West End.

  • Reigate and District Advertiser, May 24 1991
    Thrilled to death by this spook story
    • THRILL'S galore are guaranteed at Leatherhead's Thorndike Theatre for the next few weeks in the world premiere of Dead Lock.
      The first act is a masterpiece of suspense with some cleverly achieved eerie sound and light effects and people lurking n the shadows Writer Hugh Janes also, peppers his dialogue with original and witty ripostes.
      Moira Lister is superb as Diana Chapman. She has survived the car crash in which her husband died and now, hobbling with a stick after long hospitalisation. is getting down to the business of running the family publishing firm and running her home, aided by some remote control wizardry set up for her by business partner Victor.
      But she becomes the victim of a succession of terrifying events: curtains and front door which open by themselves, french windows which rattle and her stair lift - which she nicknames her "electric chair" - stopping in its tracks.
      A mystery telephone caller menacingly repeats her name - which for obvious reasons I found particularly spooky!
      Diana. who is partial to a drop of vodka to steady her nerves, starts to believe that her husband did not really die in the crash and is trying to frighten her to death.
      But both her sons also have a motive for getting Diana out of the way. Favourite young son Paul (David Pullan) wants more money for his lavish lifestyle and the older one, "smart" Alec (John Hudson) has ambitions to oust his mother from the company director's chair.
      Then there is Victor, Diana's first sweetheart and oldest friend. Is he as devoted as he appears to be or is he really involved in the nefarious dealings her sons suggest?
      And what of the pretty young doctor Karen Blackwell (Sarah Jane McKechnie)? Does she truly have Diana's welfare at heart?
      It is mostly absorbing, gripping stuff. The effects are a treat and most of the play's shocks come off beautifully

  • The Stage and Television Today, June 13 1991
    Well crafted, cleverly worded
    • A PLAY that establishes the basic situation in the opening lines and gets half a dozen laughs by the third page followed by a shock wave to the audience five minutes from curtain up, is a play with every chance of long runs in big theatres. Hugh Janes' new thriller Dead-Lock is well crafted, cleverly worded and unique in every respect.
      An important aspect in director Alison Sutciffe's exciting and pulsating production is the return to the British stage from abroad of Moira Lister. The role she has created of matriarch of a family business following her husband's death in a car crash is a brilliantly written part ideally suited to her virtuosity. The highly gifted Moira Lister worked every single line to perfection with her innermost thoughts of fear registered in her face aided by every movement adding to the most sinister of atmospheres.
      The suspense of Dead-Lock kept the Thorndike audience on edge for two hours. They knew the unexpected was always just around the corner and when it hit them several times the terrifying shock waves burst their pent up emotions into sharp audible reactions. Dead-Lock is mental torture.
      Jack Hedley as the spurned partner of the dead man steadily built up the shock that literally lifted people in the auditorium from their seats. John Hudson and David Pullan played the matriarch's diametrically opposed sons with contrasting approaches to tbc many climaxes and Sarah Jane McKechnie took the smaller role of the visiting doctor. They all maintained the sinister atmosphere.
      Tim Goodchild's set was superb and clever Lighting by Leonard Tucker played the sixth role.
      Suspense, and that is what it is from curtain up and curtain down, was also created electronically by remote control. A stair chairlift had a major role.
      Peter Tatlow

  • Brighton Argos, July 1991
    Fun filled fight for dominance
    • Surrey Comet, May 1991
      "Along with the rest I was on the edge of my seat as the play reached its thrilling climax."

      Surrey Advertiser, May 1991
      "Until the last moments the play has engrossed and entertained and the quick and sometimes witty dialogue has kept everything going at a particularly good pace."

      The Kingston Informer, June 1991
      "...the chilling ingredients for a nerve-jangling thriller by Hugh Janes."

      "There's laughter as well as suspense in this thriller, with its about-turns and corkscrew twists which leaves us guessing right up until the final curtain."

      WokingNews& Mail, June 1991
      "...the atmosphere is decidedly creepy and full of suspense."

      "As a mystery it works... more importantly as a few hours escapism, mind-twisting entertainment, of drama and good acting it is excellent."

      Western Daily Press, July 1991
      "If the gauge of a thrillers' success is its ability to make its audience jump and maintain fascination, this is a success."

      Brighton & Hove Leader - July 1991
      "There are some spine-chilling scenes that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat..."

      Ripley News, July 1991
      ".. .there are a number of tense moments that bring gasps from the audience. Equally. there are some strong shafts of humour..."

      Derby Express, July 1991
      "Dead-Lock is a very good and very satisfying new thriller..."

      "If you miss it, you have been warned: you have missed a good one."

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~ Hugh Janes ~ writer ~ author ~ Playwright ~ Screenwriter ~ Plays ~ television ~ films ~ filmwriter ~ wide blue yonder ~ the haunting ~ two of a kind ~ the perfect murder ~ deadlock ~ master forger ~ a soldier's song ~ the complete ring of the nibelung