Press & Comment

ALIEN: OUT OF THE SHADOWS (2016)

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“It is truly astonishing how Maggs has managed to convey the ascetic of the original film … with the sound design stunningly effective . It’s as cinematic in scope and sound as any of its silver screen brethren, and a darn sight better and more enjoyable than anything post Aliens. Yes, that includes you too Prometheus!” CHRISTIAN JONES, Starburst Magazine

“… as an Audible dramatisation, it was thrilling. The sound effects were spot on, giving the story an atmosphere and immediacy that I doubt the book would match”  ….  “one of the best Alien productions we’ve gotten in a long, long while.”   GOODREADS.com

” While audio drama may be their official title, I like to think of these as films without pictures. This is the way I feel about the many audio dramas produced by Dirk Maggs and I highly recommend his other work including his adaptation of Batman: Knightfall.” JOHN ABBITT, The Unheard Nerd

“When I saw that this was coming I had such high hopes for it. Dirk Maggs met all those hopes … the overall experience was just amazing … an essential listen for Alien fans.”  Alien Versus Predator Galaxy

 

FAR SIDE OF THE MOORE (2015)

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“Based upon Moore’s debut on our TV screens in 1957, radio drama really does not get any better than this.”  JANE ANDERSON, Radio Times, March 2015

“It captured Patrick, his spirit, sense of fun, and wit  and of course the exhilarating period of his life so well. Together with Tom and Patricia’s astoundingly convincing portrayal of Patrick and his mother, the play brought me to laughter and tears in equal measure.  A wonderful story and so well produced”. IAN MAKINS, one of Patrick Moore’s three “surrogate sons”, March 2015

“Made me laugh, cry, and often made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up”. BRIAN MAY, March 2015

 

GOOD OMENS (2014)

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“Adaptations of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens have been rumoured for years – though we’d always assumed they’d take place on screen. Now it’s finally happening thanks to Radio 4. The Beeb has just announced that the authors are teaming up with Dirk Maggs (the directing and adapting maestro who’s worked on audio versions of The Hitchhikers Guide To The GalaxyDirk Gently andNeverwhere) for a series that will air across a week in December.” SFX Magazine, November 2014

“Given that Good Omens is such an ambitious project, the radio adaptation was brilliant. With just enough cut out that the story was still intelligible, Dirk Maggs and co retained enough of the humour and characterisation that it would make the perfect entry point for anyone who’d never read Good Omens before.” I’MWITHGEEK.com, 29 December 2014

“The book is smartly updated to the present day with really no stretching done whatsoever. Similarly natural is Maggs’ sound design work; it’s really clever and imaginative and paints the picture very well in the listener’s mind. No one was better suited to bring this book to life than Maggs. A radio icon, his work adapting Superman and Batman is first-rate, capturing the timeless appeal of those characters. He knows what buttons to push to keep listeners’ minds engaged and it works.”  Tom Speelman, STRANGEHORIZONS.COM, 20 February 2015

“If Dirk Maggs wants to just keep on adapting Neil Gaiman’s works, he is welcome to do so. He clearly has the right mentality when it comes to putting these projects together … As I mentioned in my review of Maggs’ previous adaptation of Neverwhere, it is hard to find fault with his adaption.” THE DISGRUNTLED INDIVIDUAL.COM, 9 January 2015

 

NEVERWHERE (2013)

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“The 6-part dramatisation has been adapted by Dirk Maggs (who has a solid track record in radio comic drama – Batman, Superman, Judge Dredd) and has a genuinely star filled cast including James McAvoy, Natalie Dormer, Bernard Cribbins, Sir Christopher Lee, Anthony Head and Benedict Cumberbatch.” FORBIDDEN PLANET, 16 March 2013

“Dirk Maggs … can conjure a whole world through atmospheric music and layered sound effects. While keeping things amusing, which is a considerable achievement.” CLARE HEAL, Sunday Express, 17th March 2013

“Without any hyperbole, I can state this is a masterpiece. The intricate layers of sound, the sumptuous orchestration and the haunting rendering of life underground bring a cinematic effect. Dirk Maggs’ sound design is a triumph … he has surpassed himself. If you listen to one thing this year, make it Neverwhere.” JANE ANDERSON, Radio Times, 16 March 2013

“Anyone who has not read the book and doubts its appeal need only peruse the cast list for this radio version, adapted by the legendary radio writer and director, Dirk Maggs.” SARAH VINE, The Times, 14th March 2013

“The story is good, and Dirk Maggs’ adaptation is excellent … (he) deploys voices, sound and music brilliantly … but what makes it worth listening to more than once is the way he also gets nuggets of comedy from the maners of the characters’ non-fantasy lives.” DAVID HEPWORTH, The Guardian Guide, 16 March 2013

“I was a massive fan of Neil’s writing. And going back to the pedigree that Dirk brought from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, it was a no-brainer really.” NATALIE DORMER Press Conference, March 2013

“What is wonderful about doing it on radio is that this is the equivalent of having our 300 million budget. There’s nothing we can’t do just because we’re on radio. And with Dirk Maggs, and the sound-scape, I’m listening to it and thinking ‘this is the equivalent of the Lord Of The Rings movie’ or something.” NEIL GAIMAN, SFX, 8 March 2013

 

THE IRAQ DOSSIER (2013)

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” David Morley’s dramatic juxtaposition of verifiable fact against political will was irresistible, its authenticity enhanced by use of news clips from the time.” GILLIAN REYNOLDS, Daily Telegraph, 6th March 2013

 

WASHINGTON 9/11 (2011)

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“Tense and vivid, , Michael Eaton’s play draws on the official 9/11 Commission Report and multiple memoirs to reconstruct what happened on September 11, 2001 … Dirk Maggs directs tautly …” GILLIAN REYNOLDS,, Daily Telegraph, 8th September 2011

 

NO ANGEL (2010)

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A new comedy by Andy Lynch with an astonishingly starry cast: Clive Anderson, Ricky Tomlinson, Martine McCutcheon, Andy Parsons and Emily Head (from TV’s The Inbetweeners). It’s directed by Dirk Maggs, the master of feelgood surround-sound. GILLIAN REYNOLDS, Pick Of The Day, Daily Telegraph, 18th December 2010

 

THE ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE (2009)

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” … Dirk Maggs and his writers have rejected the sleuth’s worst features … the result is a punchy new series that … has reimagined the hero for the post-modern listener … it is the rich language that makes this so enjoyable. As with all the best radio drama, one enters a different world and is saddened to leave it.” SIMON GARFIELD, The Mail On Sunday, 2nd August 2009

” …  spiffing new Sexton Blake adventures … replete with danger, villainy and good old British grit.  Capital!” TOM COLE, The Radio Times, 21st July 2009

” … this aural slapstick version directed by dynamic Dirk Maggs … huge fun in a Goon-show-ish sort of way. Quick, lads, to the locomotive. The chase is on!” GILLIAN REYNOLDS, Daily Telegraph, 31st July 2009

 

A QUESTION OF ROYALTY (2009)

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“… Andrew Lynch’s knockabout caper (with Johnny Vegas and Ricky Tomlinson) produced hilarious worlds-colliding moments … Every line from Tomlinson was gloriously delivered, and very funny.” ELISABETH MAHONEY, The Guardian, 2nd April 2009

 

DIRK GENTLY: THE LONG DARK TEA-TIME OF THE SOUL (2008)

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“During the height of Beatlemania you could buy Beatles chewing gum. As with their music, the impression was given that Beatles gum was a superior product. Care had been taken.
The producer Dirk Maggs is the radio comedy equivalent of Beatles gum. Others may be content with doing a competent job of translating the written word to recorded sound, but Maggs goes farther. Nothing comes out of his studio, you feel, that has not been buffed and shone to the limit.” CHRIS CAMPLING, The Times, 27th September 2008

 

THREE AGATHA CHRISTIE MYSTERIES (US AUDIO CD RELEASE 2008)

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“Radio writer-director Dirk Maggs puts his considerable talents to work … the acting is spectacular … effective use of sound effects and acoustics gives the listener a sense of being part of the story. AUDIOFILE MAGAZINE Golden Earphones Award Winner, August 2008

 

DIRK GENTLY’S HOLISTIC DETECTIVE AGENCY (2007)

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“… Dirk Maggs, the avatar of the sound effect whose radio adaptation of the last three books of Douglas Adams’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy made entirely superfluous the need to read them, returned … Maggs officially becomes James Boswell to Adams’s Dr Johnson. Rarely can a technician – nay, artist – have spent so much time and care on reproducing the thoughts of a genius. Multilayered, multifaceted, the sound effects tell a story on their own. What goes on in the background is important – a news report, half-heard, is from “our environment correspondent, Jeremy Clarkson”. An answerphone carries a loop of Ravel’s Bolero. Maggs didn’t have to do that; it’s his little gift to us that he did.” CHRIS CAMPLING, The Times, October 5th 2007

 

BBC RADIO 4 AFTERNOON PLAY: HENRYS GIRLS  (2007)

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“… Dirk Maggs vividly evokes the splendours, spectacles and mishaps of the 17th-century theatre.” GILLIAN REYNOLDS, Daily Telegraph, 15th May 2007

 

ON THE BLOG (2007)

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“…  much funnier than Mitchell & Webb … has the verve that made Little Britain, The Mighty Boosh and Dead Ringers all genuine and deserved radio hits before television squashed the life out of the lot of them.” GILLIAN REYNOLDS, Daily Telegraph, 8th May 2007

“The best comedy on radio since ED REARDON’S WEEK …” PAUL DONOVAN, Sunday Times, 7th May 2007

 

THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY: 

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TERTIARY, QUANDARY & QUINTESSENTIAL PHASES (2004-2005):

“the quality of the acting is razor-sharp, the radio adaptation pinpoint.”  CHRIS CAMPLING  Times T2 May 2005

“The radio event of the month… it didn’t disappoint at all.”  RUTH COWEN  Sunday Express May 2005

“There will be those who listen to…this final series and, with Pavlovian predictability, moan that ‘it’s not as good as the first’. Well … it’s better.”  JANE ANDERSON Radio Times May 2005

“Yes I did bang on about [it] last week, but this episode is really very good.”  PHIL DAOUST  Guardian G2 May 2005

“The quality of writing goes without saying but the production more than keeps up, and indeed enhances the work of its much beloved creator.” SONY AWARDS Judges Panel 2005

” … a brilliantly written, lively script that matches the original 12 episodes. At the risk of being controversial, it’s better than the book.” GUY CLAPPERTON, Radio Times October 2004

“The sound is indeed extraordinary. If you want to know how intelligent aquatic mattresses burble, or how Arthur Dent might sound when chasing a flying sofa across a prehistoric forest, listen on.” DOMINIC WELLS The Eye, The Times October 2004

“BBC Radio 4’s serialisation of the last three books in Douglas Adams’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series has proved more popular on the internet than The Archers or the Today programme …  an unprecedented online hit for the BBC with 1 million people listening via the internet …” JULIA DAY Media Guardian, 28 October 2004

” … there’s a real buzz about this production. The series is crammed full of guest stars … there are so many jokes you’ll be desperate to listen again on line.” JANE ANDERSON Radio Times, April 2005

“… adapted and directed by Dirk Maggs, who, in our opinion, is the best radio drama writer/director in the world. He’s even better than we are, that’s how amazing he is.” TOM LOPEZ ZBS Broadcasting

 

BBC RADIO 4 AFTERNOON PLAY: MIRABELLE & ME (2005):

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“This kind of play – part magic realism, part absurdism, part bad taste romp – can be difficult to pull off, but it was saved by the exemplary direction of Dirk Maggs.” MOIRA PETTY The Stage & Television Today, Dec 1st 2005

 

JOHNNY VEGAS’ NIGHT CLASS 2002:

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“… The acting is first rate all round, the use of sound is both clever and evocative at once … as if we were listening to the radio equivalent of cinema verite …” NICHOLAS LEZARD Independent On Sunday, 1st September 2002

 

GOON AGAIN – THE 50th ANNIVERSARY GOON SHOW, 2001:

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“Against all the odds … a brilliant tribute to a show that changed the face of radio comedy forever…” JOHN MARTLAND, THE STAGE & TELEVISION TODAY May 2001

“… brilliant…” EVENING STANDARD HOT TICKETS 25th May 2001

“… atmospheric, affectionate and funny…” PAUL DONOVAN, THE TIMES 29 May 2001

 

VOYAGE, 1999:

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“STAR WARS EAT YOUR HEART OUT …so realistic, it’s hard to believe it was recorded in a studio… if you close your eyes you may be fooled into thinking the cinema screen is in front of you  … Another undoubted winner for Maggs and BBC Radio Collection.” PHILIPPA MORGAN, Talking Business May/June 1999

“ Dirk Maggs’ production and cast are polished as usual … will hold your attention right to the end.” GUY HALEY, SFX Magazine July 1999

“… a wonderfully rich ‘widescreen’ soundscape, expertly crafted by director/adapter Dirk Maggs.” NIGEL ANDREW, Daily Mail, 12 April 1999

“… the superior technical skills of writer/director Dirk Maggs add real atmosphere to this five-part dramatisation  …  it is his technical brilliance which brings it to life…” RADIO CHOICE, Mail On Sunday, 11 April 1999

“…Great casting, superb production and an excellent comprehensive music score all in cinematic Dolby Surround Sound. This is right up there with Maggs’s usual stunning production values.” AUDIO THEATER.COM Website, Spring 2001

 

THE GEMINI APES, 1998:

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“… Dirk Maggs’ thrill-a-minute scifi drama should lure the kids in from the television  …” LINDA O’CALLAGHAN, Daily Mail WEEKEND, 19 December 1998

“…  has teenage appeal … a fast-moving saga billed as radio’s answer to the Yuletide movie blockbuster.” STEPHANIE BILLEN, The Observer, 20 December 1998

“…  a highly crafted sci-fi morality tale … big, bright, bold, highly original and beautifully done … it ought to be snatched up at once and made into a movie.” GILLIAN REYNOLDS, Daily Telegraph, 28th December 1998

 

AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, 1997:

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“Like Dirk Maggs’ previous Radio 1 dramatisations, the pace and production values are simply terrific.” KEN GARNER, The Express, 7 April 1997

“The beast was brought triumphantly back to life … thanks to expert direction from Dirk Maggs …” STEPHANIE BILLEN, The Observer, 13 April 1997

“The hip language, vivid sound effects, insistent music and Dolby Surround bear witness to Dirk Maggs.” PAUL DONOVAN, Sunday Times 7 April 1997

“… Dirk Maggs adds new twists and grizzly sounds to John Landis’s movie … Recommended.” RADIO CHOICE, Daily Mail, 7 April 1997

“… an excellent job – congratulations!” JOHN LANDIS (An American Werewolf In London, The Blues Brothers) April 1997

 

INDEPENDENCE DAY UK, 1996:

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“… Dirk Maggs’ brilliant Independence Day UK is Number one (in the Bookseller Spoken Word Chart), having already become one of the very few spoken word recordings to make the regular album charts …” M.J.SIMPSON, SFX Magazine, Christmas 1996 issue 

“…the script’s literary quality is very much the hallmark of an original and potent form of radio drama. Dirk Maggs previously created very short episodic ‘Audio Movie’ style series of early comic strip stories such as ‘Judge Dredd’, ‘Batman’ and ‘Superman’ for Radio One FM and this production was an extension of that genre…” M.A. RADIO COURSE, Goldsmith’s College, University Of London October 1998

 

PETER PAN, 1995:

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“…spoken word is much more than an inferior way of experiencing books. A producer such as Dirk Maggs (Spiderman, Peter Pan) uses surround-sound and special effects as an artist uses a pallete.” CHRISTINA HARDYMENT New Statesman, October 1997

 

JUDGE DREDD, 1995:

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“… listening to Dirk Maggs’ award-winning “audio movies” is like hearing sound in colour or watching a Cinemascope film with your eyes shut …” CHRISTINA HARDYMENT, The Guardian, January 21st 1995

 

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, 1995:

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This is just what you’d hope for from a Marvel Comic Book dramatised for radio. It’s a high powered, fast paced, richly produced and wonderfully performed audio movie… Dirk Maggs’ production is infinitely superior to the embarrassingly sluggish Spiderman brought out by Simon & Schuster.” AUDIO THEATER.COM Website, Spring 2001

“Maggs’ forte is more than marshalling the apt accent: he midwives the whole acoustic of American popular culture onto the airwaves, a rich soundtrack, along with lashings of irony.  No wonder people so readily compare radio as a medium with film …” ANNE KARPF, The Guardian, January 21st 1995

“… Dirk “Mr Genius” Maggs, as Brian May calls him, is Writer Producer Director behind Spider-Man …  Were any Archers fan to tune in, their eyebrows might be raised at the adventure and the ground-breaking effects (and wall-smashing, bomb-exploding effects for that matter)…” NICHOLAS BARBER, Independent on Sunday, 5th February 1995

 

BATMAN KNIGHTFALL, 1994:

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“… Dirk Maggs, who wrote and produced, threw everything into the pot and stirred vigorously.  The result was richly textured, highly flavoursome, original and wonderfully energetic …  Maggs struck just the right balance between Gothic horror, gung-ho heroism and camp humour, and maintained it.  This sort of speed and density is all too rare in radio …” NIGEL ANDREW Daily Telegraph

“… summoned up Gotham’s nocturnal horrors more effectively than the movies…” DAMIAN THOMPSON,  Sunday Telegraph

“… Dirk Maggs productions ‘Composed through’ like a Lloyd-Webber’ musical – scene boundaries of the lightning cut type – over-aural-excitation – crowded ‘mise en scène’ – plenitude of sound events…” STAFFORDSHIRE UNIVERSITY February 2001 NEW MEDIA: NEW PRACTICES: NEW PARADIGMS 

 

THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN, 1990-3:

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“Is it a bird?  Is it a plane? No, it’s sheer quickfire genius in the most sensationally produced comic strip.” MAIL ON SUNDAY,1992

 

THE MARX BROTHERS’ FLYWHEEL, SHYSTER & FLYWHEEL, 1990-2:

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“…for me, your version is a flattering improvement…” NAT PERRIN, Creator/Co-writer of the 1932 Marx Brothers Radio series

“… I’d give my right arm to be in your Marx Brothers Radio Show.” SPIKE MILLIGAN, April 1991

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Dirk writes and directs for audio theatre, the stage, games, film and television.