‘A read-at-a-sitting page-turner’
‘Written with huge verve, the story twists and turns like a malign serpent’
‘An impressive debut… (a) riotous chase through the glories of the Greek Islands’
‘Reminiscent of Alex Garland’s The Beach this is pitch perfect escapism to effortlessly take you away from it all’
‘You’ll be swept up in the hedonistic pursuits and the sun-drenched world of sex and drugs, compelling you to finish this book in one go’
‘Wicked, dramatic and dripping in the intensity of summer heat’
Australian Women’s Weekly
‘The heady cocktail of kaleidoscopic plot twists and slick writing make this a sure-fire winner for fans of fast-paced thrillers’
‘This novel is horrible, atmospheric and gripping’
The Literary Review
‘Addictive, the closest thing to Tarantino in book form I’ve read in a long time!’ Mainstreet Books
‘An incredibly gripping tale… I await the sequel with anticipation’
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
8 December 2021
Dugald Bruce-Lockhart’s debut novel THE LIZARD to be adapted for television
Screen adaptation rights to blistering thriller THE LIZARD by British author Dugald Bruce-Lockhart (Muswell Press) have been optioned by Australian production company Thrills and Spills. Headed by Michael Robertson and Neal Kingston, Thrills & Spills is one of Australia’s leading producers of film entertainment.
“The Lizard” was published to critical acclaim in 2020 and chosen by The Guardian and The Observer as one of the best thrillers for Summer. The novel charts the events of Alistair Haston who finds himself on a deadly backpacking trip to Greece. Heartbroken and obsessed by a breakup with his girlfriend, Alistair follows her to Greece to rekindle their relationship. Soon swept away in a cocktail of hedonistic pursuits, Haston is immersed in a sun-drenched world of sex, alcohol and drugs. But when the body of a missing tourist is found, Haston's world collapses and he is sent on a desperate run for his life…
Michael Robertson, who will serve as producer said: “The novel is a tense read at-a-sitting page turner set against the backdrop of the idyllic Greek Islands. It is an impressive debut for actor turned writer, Dugald Bruce-Lockhart. The story has similarities to the world of "The Talented Mr Ripley” and the exotic locations found in John Le Carre’s "The Night Manager.”
Producing partner, Neal Kingston added: “We are thrilled with the opportunity to turn this critically acclaimed fast paced thriller into a television series for a global audience.”
Muswell Press said: “We are completely delighted that this terrifically compelling thriller has been taken on by Thrills & Spills. It will make the most amazing TV series and we cannot wait to see it.”
Author, Dugald Bruce-Lockhart said: “I am absolutely over the moon that Thrills & Spills are turning The Lizard into a television series. With their formidable track record and experience, it couldn’t be in better hands.”
Thrills and Spills will develop and produce the film with the aim of shooting in 2022.
For further information: Michael Robertson +61 418 282 323
NOTE TO EDITORS
The Lizard - Reviews:
'Bruce-Lockhart ramps up the tension and the result is a read-at-a-sitting page- turner.’ Best Recent Crime Thrillers, Guardian
‘An impressive debut…. this riotous chase through the glories of the Greek Islands is entertaining.’The Observer
‘You’ll be swept up in the hedonistic pursuits and the sun-drenched world of sex and drugs, compelling you to finish this book in one go.’ Marie Claire
‘Wicked, dramatic and dripping in the intensity of summer heat.’ Australian Women’s Weekly
This novel is horrible, atmospheric and gripping.’ The Literary Review
About THRILLS AND SPILLS - Thrills & Spills is a leading producer of filmed content for cinemas, streaming platforms and broadcast television services. The company specialises in producing original and exciting thrillers, working alongside writers and directors to bring “genre-driven" stories to Australian and worldwide audiences. The Reef: Stalked is the third film the company has produced - other titles include Black Water: Abyss and Great White.
About DUGALD BRUCE-LOCKHART - Dugald Bruce-Lockhart was born in Fiji in 1968. The son of a diplomat, he attended boarding school from the age of nine; spending his holidays in Cyprus, Vienna, Lagos (Nigeria), and Bonn. He graduated with a degree in German from St. Andrews University in 1990, then trained for a career in acting at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. A professional actor since 1994, Dugald lives in Kent with his wife Penny and their two children, Mackenzie and Cassidy. The Lizard is his first novel.
Dugald trained at RADA and has worked extensively as an actor with theatre companies including the RSC, The National Theatre, The English Touring Theatre, Bath Theatre Royal, Hampstead Theatre and The Old Vic.
As a long-standing member of Edward Hall’s internationally-acclaimed Propeller, he played roles including Henry V, Petruchio, and Olivia, before becoming an associate director.
He toured the UK as Hannay in The 39 Steps; and West End appearances include Freddie in The Deep Blue Sea at the Vaudeville; Lysander in Propeller’s Midsummer Night’s Dream at the former Comedy Theatre (now the Pinter); and Bill Austin in Mamma Mia at The Novello.
He received a Best Actor nomination from The Stage for his portrayal of David Cameron in William Gaminara’s The Three Lions, and a Critics Award for Theatre in Scotland Best Actor nomination for his role as Mephistopheles in Faust at the Edinburgh Lyceum.
TV and film work includes From Time to Time, Hart’s War, Alive and Kicking, Deserter, Case Histories, Foyle’s War, Midsomer Murders, Trust, and Hotel Babylon.
He has voiced numerous non-fiction and fiction audio-books – as well as several children’s books - and narrated a landmark documentary series for the Smithsonian Channel, Aerial Britain, launching in the UK in the spring of 2019.
His debut novel, The Lizard – a suspense thriller set in the Greek islands in 1988 - was published in the spring of 2020.
After some fifteen years as a professional actor, Dugald moved to the other side of the rehearsal room, directing After The Dance, by Terrence Rattigan, for the graduating BA acting students at Italia Conti in Clapham. He has since directed four other final year productions there – most recently, French Without Tears by Terence Rattigan. He also directed several final year productions for The Central School of Speech and Drama – of which, Jumpy, by April de Angelis, was hailed by Geoff Coleman (The Managing director of CSSD) as the best production he’d seen at Central in 20 years.
In 2011, Dugald became associate director for Edward Hall’s all-male Shakespeare ensemble, Propeller, directing numerous ‘pocket’ (1 hour) productions of their previous full-length shows, before being contracted to direct the remounts of the last four international touring productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Taming of The Shrew, Twelfth Night, and The Comedy of Errors.
In 2013 and 2014, Dugald directed two Catalan Shakespeare productions for the Teatre Akademia theatre company in Barcelona (Romeu i Julietta - Romeo and Juliet; and Com Us Plagui – As You Like It) both of which ran for eight weeks to critical acclaim, the former, remaining Time Out’s number one choice for six consecutive weeks.
In 2020 Dugald directed the tour of The Last Temptation of Boris Johnson. He wrote a guest blog about this experience that can be found here.
Prior to that, his most recent production was Indivisible Irene, by Jackie Carreira, mounted for The 2019 Ink Festival in Suffolk: a one woman show starring Ann Bryson, about a woman coming to terms with growing feelings of futility, having reached her mid-fifties. The production also had a highly successful run at the Tristan Bates in London.
In 2019 he directed Pigeons, written by Penelope Rawlins for The Camden Fringe Festival at The Hen and Chickens Theatre, in July 2019; starring Marlene Sidaway (of BBC’s Mum TV series) and introducing newcomer Max Fricker, recently graduated from Italia Conti. A touching tale of an unlikely meeting of minds between two random strangers on a lone park bench, Pigeons addresses the fragility of communication in the wake of society’s increasing addiction to social media.
For the stage:
Dugald wrote, directed and produced his first play, ‘Spindrift’, at St Andrews University. No copy of the manuscript remains to this day, but the story concerns a university student who meets and falls in love with a Mermaid on the sandy shores of St Andrews in Scotland, in the late 1800’s. When confronted by the law courts, he insists his account is true, despite threats of the death penalty for witchcraft. Granted bail – paid for by his Moral Philosophy tutor - he is encouraged to flee town. Before leaving, desperate for a final reunion with his otherworldly sweetheart, he returns at dawn to the West Sands and enters the sea, never to return. The verdict of suicide is eventually turned over when a respected member of the community claims she witnessed the event, and confessed she saw what she could only describe as a mermaid, tumbling with the man in the surf before he slipped under the waves.
Dugald’s second play, The Cage (a one-act, hour long, psychological thriller) was directed by Ricard Baron and produced by the now Chairman of SOLT (Society of London Theatres) Julian Bird, for The Pleasance at the Edinburgh Festival 2010. (See reviews)
His third play, Hijacked, is a further development of The Cage into a new, full-length play. The piece is currently being considered by several UK theatre companies for production.
For Film and TV:
Dugald has written a full-length feature film, The Squirrel: a buddy-movie comedy, set in present day London and Ireland – about hapless bachelor, Billy, who incurs the wrath of a criminal mafia gangster after losing a game of poker. Mr Squirrel gives Billy three days to pay what he owes. Recently unemployed and now broke, however, the only source of funds available to him is an inheritance from his grandmother, but on the condition he settles down and ties the knot. Dumped that same afternoon by his fiancée, however, he is fresh out of suitors. Billy has three days to find a wife.
The film is currently being considered by London-based film and television companies.
Dugald has written his debut novel, The Lizard: a suspense thriller set on the Greek Islands in 1988. The novel was published by Muswell-Press in the spring of 2020.
1988. Heading to Greece to mend a broken heart, undergraduate Alistair Haston lands a dream job on the island of Paros with all the perks, where his sorrows are soon swept away in a cocktail of hedonistic pursuits. But when the body of a missing tourist is found, the finger of blame turns upon Haston and his world collapses. Forced on the run, on an island with few hiding places and fewer allies, Haston must rely on raw survival instincts if he is to make it out alive.
The Guardian: The best recent crime and thrillers – review roundup. Laura Wilson
‘A read-at-a-sitting page-turner.’
Unlike Alcacia, the Greek islands are a desirable destination – although not if a holiday turns out like the one described in The Lizard by Dugald Bruce-Lockhart (Muswell, £12.99). It’s the summer of 1988, and callow student Alistair Haston decides to impress his former girlfriend by striking out on his own for the Aegean. Things go wrong almost immediately; he gets blind drunk with a bunch of strangers on the ferry and wakes up on Paros without passport or money. When charismatic Ricky offers him a well-paid job recruiting tourists as models (and sometimes more) for an artist friend, he moves into the man’s luxurious home and finds himself in a hedonistic whirl of booze, drugs and parties – until one morning he wakes up to find the villa empty, and the police arrive to question him about a young woman found murdered. As the stakes get ever higher, Bruce-Lockhart ramps up the tension and the result is a read-at-a-sitting page-turner.
The Daily Mail – Geoffrey Wansell
‘Written with huge verve, the story twists and turns like a malign serpent’
This impressive debut focuses on St Andrews University undergraduate Alistair Haston, who is broken hearted at the break-up of his relationship with fellow student Ellie, and consoles himself with a Greek islands trip. He knows she plans to go there, too, and hopes they collide ‘by chance’. But on the ferry from Athens he meets a charismatic Australian, Ricky, who introduces him to Heinrich, a renowned German artist living in a magnificent mansion overlooking the sea. Alistair is hired to find ‘models’ for Heinrich, and is ushered into a world of drugs, debauchery and murder —then he is forced to flee to save himself. Written with huge verve, the story twists and turns like a malign serpent and features a memorable villain in the wily Australian who lured Alistair into the maelstrom.
The Observer -
‘An impressive debut… (a) riotous chase through the glories of the Greek Islands.’
LOVEREADING - Joanne Owen.
‘The heady cocktail of kaleidoscopic plot twists and slick writing make this a sure-fire winner for fans of fast-paced thrillers.’
“Alistair Haston, student of moral philosophy and German no more. I was starting over, shaking things up.” As things turn out, innocent Alistair experiences a whole lot more than a shake up in The Lizard, Dugald Bruce-Lockhart’s audaciously murderous debut, when he heads to the Greek Islands in search of his ex-girlfriend and finds himself stitched-up to the nth degree.
Alistair has barely begun his trip when his passport and cash are stolen after getting drunk with charismatic Aussie Ricky. Alone and penniless, a reencounter with Ricky offers him a lifeline when the Aussie gets him a job drafting tourists to pose for his employer, a wealthy German artist called Heinrich. Alistair seems to have fallen on his feet – Heinrich’s villa is palatial, the parties are wild and the money is great. Swept up in the sex, drug and alcohol fuelled fever of the villa, Alistair casts off his conservatism and does what’s expected of him, until the morning he wakes to find the villa messy with party detritus and empty of people. “What the hell had happened?” he wonders before a police car pulls up. A tourist has been murdered and Alistair is the number one suspect.
And so begins a dangerous cat and mouse game during which Alistair is arrested, escapes and goes on the run. The sense of paranoia is palpable as the novel plots Alistair’s transformation from a naïve, lovelorn student to a fugitive prepared to do anything to save his skin, with the body count rising to Tarantino-esque proportions. The heady cocktail of kaleidoscopic plot twists and slick writing make this a sure-fire winner for fans of fast-paced thrillers.
Scottish Field – Rosie Morton
‘An incredibly gripping tale… I await the sequel with anticipation.’
Literary Review – Natasha Cooper
‘This novel is horrible, atmospheric and gripping.’
A petulant and irresponsible undergraduate goes on his own to Greece to spite the girlfriend who has just dumped him. On the ferry to the island of Paros, he falls in with a group of young revellers, off their heads with exuberance, drink and drugs. He wakes up to find himself alone on the island, without money or his passport and covered in vomit. As he struggles to find somewhere to live and funds to live on, he meets up again with one of the ferry gang and is offered both a job and shelter. The job is disreputable rather than illegal and he takes it, only to face disaster and serious peril. During his attempt to escape and nail the bad guys, our shabby hero belatedly shows some care for his fellow human beings. This novel is horrible, atmospheric and gripping.
The Reading Room – Living Magazine. Tom Bromley
‘Reminiscent of Alex Garland’s The Beach this is pitch perfect escapism to effortlessly take you away from it all.’
Marie Claire (Australia) - Lucy Taylor.
‘You’ll be swept up in the hedonistic pursuits and the sun-drenched world of sex and drugs, compelling you to finish this book in one go.’
This debut novel by Dugald Bruce-Lockhart combines love, mystery and action into one, creating the perfect holiday read. The story of Alistair on the run through the Greek Islands will grab you from the very start. You’ll be swept up in the hedonistic pursuits and the sun-drenched world of sex and drugs, compelling you to finish this book
in one go.
Praise for The Lizard:
‘A terrific, atmospheric thriller. Taut, compelling, masterfully constructed. Outstanding'
‘A richly atmospheric flashback to a deadly summer. Full of intrigue, action and excitement, The Lizard is a terrific debut.’
‘Addictive, the closest thing to Tarantino in book form I’ve read in a long time!’
Rosamund de La Hey –Mainstreet Books