Amber Lane Press

HUGH WHITEMORE (1936-2018) began his career in television in the 1960s writing many plays, adaptations and serials. He won Writers’ Guild Awards for Cider with Rosie and Country Matters in the 70s. Concealed Enemies won him the 1984 Emmy Award for the best mini-series on American TV, and his Channel 4 adaptation of Anthony Powell’s A Dance to the Music of Time won the script prize at the 1998 Monte Carlo Festival. His stage plays include Stevie, Pack of Lies, Breaking the Code, It’s Ralph, The Best of Friends, A Letter of Resignation and Disposing of the Body. Recently, The Gathering Storm won Whitemore several awards in 2002. His screenplays include The Return of the Soldier, 84 Charing Cross Road, Utz and Franco Zeffirelli’s Jane Eyre.

The Best of Friends by Hugh Whitemore publisher Amber Lane Press
ISBN: 9780906399866


Hugh Whitemore
The Best of Friends

In 1924 when George Bernard Shaw was 68, his friend Sydney Cockerell, then Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, introduced him to a Benedictine nun at Stanbrook Abbey in Worcestershire. Dame Laurentia McLachlan, who was later to be elected Abbess, enjoyed a lively friendship with both Shaw and Cockerell for over 25 years. The Best of Friends was first presented at the Apollo Theatre, London in 1988, starring John Gielgud, Ray McAnally and Rosemary Harris. This was Gielgud's last West End play (he was 84 at the time). He also starred in the film version with Patrick McGoohan and Dame Wendy Hiller. A London revival in 2006 was directed by James Roose-Evans and featured Roy Dotrice, Michael Pennington & Patricia Routledge. (Cast 2m, 1f)

“Mr Whitemore has alighted on the unlikely ties that bound together three forceful characters in a long, yet loosely tied, knot of mutual esteem and concern ... their discourse is charged with authentic humour, spontaneous response and studied wisdom.”
~ Jack Tinker, Dail Mail

“It is largely from the letters that passed between this long-lived trio that Hugh Whitemore has now artfully put together his dramatic mosaic The Best of Friends [featuring] the eloquent, vigorous, often humourous prose which came so naturally to all three.”
~ Francis King, The Sunday Telegraph

“With unobtrusive skill, Mr Whitemore has turned an exchange of letters into a meditation on the nature of religious belief and a celebration of the mystery of friendship.”
~ Michael Billington, The Guardian

“This is a gloriously absorbing play about love, friendship, mortality, the tango, immortality, embalmed aunts, money problems and a thousand and one other subjects that kindred spirits talk and joke about when they discover true comradeship.”
~ Maureen Paton, Daily Express


Hugh Whitemore
Disposing of the Body

When life starts to fade into a summery drowsy twilight, you should be taking things a little easier ... But for Henry Preece, embarking on early retirement with his attractive wife, things start to go seriously wrong. 'All my life,' he says, ‘I've either been looking back at happy times that have gone or looking forward to the happiness to come.'
In Hugh Whitemore's elegant and tantalising play, the mystery and excitement of an unexpected passion is given full rein, until Henry realises that the door he's just flung open should have remained tightly shut. (Cast 5m, 3f)

“Hugh Whitemore’s Disposing of the Body picks up the threads of a number of Priestley’s [An Inspector Calls] social themes giving them a modern sensibility less concerned with class than with the morality of sex and passion.”
Sam Marlowe, What’s On

“It is an intriguing mystery about a woman who disappears. Disposing of the Body offers the rare pleasure of standing around in the interval wondering what’s going to happen in Act Two.”
Robert Butler, Independent on Sunday

“Eventually I was gripped ... within its chosen terms Whitemore’s play works well.”
Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Whitemore’s writing is witty and astute...”
Madeleine North, Time Out


Disposing of the Body by Hugh Whitemore published by Amber Lane Press
ISBN: 9781872868271
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God Only Knows by Hugh Whitemore publisher Amber Lane Press
ISBN: 9781872868301
£9.99 £8.99
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Hugh Whitemore
God Only Knows

Contentedly full of good Italian food and drowsy with wine, four English holidaymakers are relaxing on the terrace of a villa In Tuscany. Suddenly, out of the evening shadows, there appears a fugitive - a man who claims to possess long-hidden knowledge that is both momentous and dangerous - an enigma involving the Vatican's Secret Archives, an Italian dealer in antiquities, and a Jewish preacher known as Yeshua ben Pantera. And the answer to this riddle? God only knows... Derek Jacobi starred in the first West End production in 2000. (Cast 3m, 2f)

"Hugh Whitemore has written a brilliant political-spiritual-philosophical-Shavian thriller ... This is a terrific play, tense, tough, sinewy, intelligent and a real boost for the West End.”
~ John Peter, Sunday Times

"...The West End usually shirks anything resembling serious debate, so this old-fashioned, unsexy play ... will be greeted by some as a blessed relief. In essence, God Only Knows wraps conflicting views about the divinity of Christ and the need for faith in the accoutrements of a suspenseful potboiler."
~ The Daily Telegraph

“...the quality of the argument keeps us hooked ... Catholics will feel picked on and atheists will welcome Whitemore as an eloquent pleader.”
~ Robert Gore-Langton, Express

“ kept me gripped throughout, possibly because after a somewhat futile spiritual quest over the past 18 months, I’m coming round to the play’s rationalist view of life ...The show can only be described as a religious thriller ... Hokum perhaps, but enjoyable, stimulating hokum ... the debate is both lucid and urgent, and the twist at the end is in vintage thriller tradition.”
~ Charles Spencer, Daily Telegraph

“[God Only Knows is] a traditionally well-made play. I don’t think Mr Whitemore is capable of writing anything else ... if you are looking for a play that is both entertaining and thought-provoking, look no further.”
~ Michael Darvell, What’s On


Hugh Whitemore
It's Ralph

As he drove to his country house, Andrew Gale counted his many blessings: money in the bank, a beautiful and successful wife, and a pleasing degree of public recognition. The only problem was a damp patch on the bathroom ceiling. But then Ralph arrived and everything changed. Even the damp patch got worse... Hugh Whitemore’s comic masterpiece starred Timothy West, Connie Booth and Jack Shepherd when it was staged at the Comedy Theatre in 1991. (Cast 3m, 1f)

“The play is about not-so-quiet desperation; and the unfortunate fact that terrible events have a blackly funny side.”
~ Shaun Usher, Daily Mail

“It is both funny and frosty, uncomfortable and beguiling, entertaining and bleak...”
~ Sunday Times

“It is an entertaining and watchable play with a serious and unsettling centre...”
~ The Independent

“A witty and wise addition to the West End.”
~ Evening Standard

“...a surprisingly absorbing piece which quietly persuades its audience to think as well as laugh.”
~ Charles Spencer, Daily Telegraph

“...Mr Whitemore keeps us intrigued and amused ... the evening as a whole is both enjoyable and oddly attractive - far more so then many a weightier effort.”
~ John Gross, Sunday Telegraph




It's Ralph by Hugh Whitemore published by Amber Lane Press
ISBN: 9781872868066
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A Letter of Resignation by Hugh Whitemore published by Amber Lane Press
ISBN: 9781872868226
£8.99 £7.99
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Hugh Whitemore
A Letter of Resignation

1963 was an amazing year. President Kennedy’s assassination. The Great Train Robbery. Beatlemania. The Profumo Affair. Life was changing. Britain was becoming a different place and to many people the Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, seemed outdated and irrelevant - an Edwardian grandee lingering uncomfortably in the world of E-type Jaguars, Carnaby Street and ‘That Was The Week That Was’. But few were aware that his life was scarred by domestic unhappiness and sexual betrayal. A Letter of Resignation explores the events that lay hidden behind the headlines and examines a complex web of personal and political morality. First seen at the comedy theatre starring Edward fox. (Cast 3m, 2f)

A Letter of Resignation ... is an intriguing modern history play...”
~ Bill Hagerty, News of the World

“Hugh Whitemore’s new play is the kind the West End has almost given up on: engrossingly serious, nimbly entertaining, elegantly written, expertly constructed, wise, thoughtful and hard as nails. Good Lord, not a traditional well-made play? Actually, yes, as near as; and that is where Whitemore’s masterly irony lies...”
~ John Peter, Sunday Times

“There’s a long flashback to the day when Dorothy Macmillan first told her husband about her relationship with Robert Boothby - a scene I was dreading which turns out to be a triumph, written with a sureness of touch that Rattigan would have been proud of...”
~ John Gross, Sunday Telegraph

“ of the most quietly absorbing, intelligent and - finally - moving plays of the year.”
~ Robert Butler, Independent on Sunday


Hugh Whitemore

For most of her life the poet and novelist Stevie Smith lived with her ‘Lion Aunt’ in a modest house in Palmer’s Green in north London. In Stevie reminiscences interspersed with some of Stevie Smith’s poems, build up to a reconstruction of her life. The play was first presented at the Vaudeville Theatre, London, starring Glenda Jackson.(Cast 1m, 2f)

“Hugh Whitemore has plundered the side roads of history to good dramatic effect in plays like Stevie...”
~ Steve Grant, Time Out





Stevie by Hugh Whitemore published by Amber Lane Press
ISBN: 9780906399507
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You can buy Hugh Whitemore's plays via this site at a discount.

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