Dusty Hughes (playwright)

Dusty Hughes (born 16 September 1947)[1] is an English playwright, director and screenwriter of television. In the early seventies he was Theatre Editor of Time Out and helped to establish that magazine’s theatre coverage as an alternative voice. He then joined the Bush Theatre as Artistic Director and with Simon Stokes and Jenny Topper developed it as a venue for new writing and directed new plays by Snoo Wilson, Tony Bicat, Julia Kearsley, Kurt Vonnegut, Howard Barker, Ron Hutchinson and Ken Campbell.

Early life

Hughes was born in Boston, Lincolnshire the son of Harold Hughes a schoolmaster and Peggy (née Holland) a marriage guidance counsellor and youth theatre producer. Hughes was educated at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Wakefield and Trinity Hall, Cambridge. At Cambridge he was a member of Footlights where he appeared in the revue “Supernatural Gas” (directed by Clive James) as Tsar Nicolas II and a seven foot high HP Sauce bottle. He is thinly disguised in James’s autobiography May Week Was In June as Rusty Gates.


In 1980 his first play Commitments (which preceded the unrelated Roddy Doyle novel and subsequent film of the same name) won him the London Theatre Critics Most Promising Playwright Award. His subsequents plays have been seen at the National Theatre, The Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford and London, The Royal Court, Hampstead Theatre, The Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, The Bush, the Donmar and in the West End as well as in Europe and America.

He has worked extensively in television. He was joint winner of the Writer’s Guild Award for Best Drama Series for Between The Lines and created The Brief for ITV as well as adapting Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent for BBC1. He has also written for many other series including Silent Witness, Lewis and most recently, the BBC’s swashbuckling series The Musketeers.


  • Grrr Edinburgh, 1968
  • In At The Death, Bush Theatre, London, 1978
  • Commitments Bush Theatre, London, 1980
  • Heaven and Hell Edinburgh, 1981
  • Breach Of The Peace, Bush Theatre, London, 1982
  • Moliere; or, The Union Of Hypocrites, Stratford-on-Avon, 1982
  • Bad Language, Hampstead Theatre, London, 1983
  • Philistines, Stratford-on-Avon, 1985
  • Futurists Cottesloe Theatre, National Theatre, 1986, directed by Richard Eyre. Published script ISBN 0-571-13778-4
  • Jenkin's Ear Royal Court Theatre, London. 1987, Published script ISBN 0-571-14565-5
  • Metropolis Piccadilly Theatre, London, 1989, (a musical based on Fritz Lang's 1927 silent movie Metropolis) [1]
  • A Slip of the Tongue Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago, 1992
  • Helpless Donmar Warehouse Theatre, London, 2000, directed by Robin Lefevre.[2][3]




  1. ^ "Birthdays". The Guardian. Guardian News & Media. 15 Sep 2014. p. 35.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-10-20. Retrieved 2011-07-14.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ http://www.doollee.com/PlaywrightsH/hughes-dusty.html

External links

  • Dusty Hughes on IMDb
  • John Stanley Bull, British and Irish dramatists since World War II.: Second series, Gale Group, 2001

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