I honestly can't remember how many scripts I've written or contributed to over the years. Everything from short video commercials to full length radio plays. This page presents a few of the more recent or more substantial examples and offers links to download or read complete productions. My own favourite is Children of the Revolution although the best reviews attached themselves to Mr Lennon.
I've also appeared in some of these productions!
Not the radio play that did well a few years back, that’s lurking lower down the page. Since 2007 I’ve been working on a screenplay for a full-length movie version. This makes regular appearances on the news page of my site. In late 2007 the project got to the point that my agent, myself and the production company were arguing specific points on the contract, at which time it seemed a reasonable move to add this script to the scripts page as well.
SHORT AND SHARP
It would be tiresome to list every production involved but a few years ago I was asked to produce some scripts for a festival of really short plays. Since this time I’ve written a few dozen such works, ranging from 60 seconds to an epic 3 minutes. These works have gone locally, like London, as far afield as Yorkshire and the USA and in 2008 a few of my short plays became part of an English teaching programme in Taiwan. Strangely the most popular work to date is a play called Ceremony which has to count as one of the bleakest things I’ve ever written, centred as it is on a funeral. I really enjoy the possibilities of this form of work, particularly the chance to do something strange and different that wouldn’t work over a ‘normal’ length.
BALLROOMS OF MARS: 2007
The original radio play about Bolan fans – Children of the Revolution – was revisited, reworked and cut right down to a tight two-handed tale to coincide with Marc’s 60th birthday in September 2007, and the 30th anniversary of his death. A 30 year old woman who lost her father when she was a baby makes a pilgrimage to the site of Marc’s death, thinking about her father, a Bolan fan who was one of the first to make this journey, and her own wish to become a mother.
TOUCHING FROM A DISTANCE: 2007
The last drama I completed for Oneword Radio before their demise in 2007, a serious accident resulting in a head injury forces a family to cope and face the responsibilities that come with family ties and bonds. Despite the bleak beginning this is a positive story that celebrates the love between parents and children.
MR LENNON — ONEWORD RADIO 2001
The Daily Mail said: One of those ‘what if’ plays, but written and performed with extraordinary conviction. It's New Years Day 1999 and John Lennon, artist and college lecturer, is venting his feelings into a cheap tape recorder. He'd been in a group called The Beatles who'd split up in 1963 when Parlophone signed up Kenny Lynch instead of them. Moderately successful as an artist, hoping for early retirement from lecturing, he is still bitter that the talent of The Beatles went unrecognised. This isn't a jokey thrown–away idea , but a serious look at fate, talent and disappointment. This alternative Lennon rings absolutely true, the language, the life the attitude are just right and the play is full of great lines such as 'Your talent doesn't die because others turn you down. It dies because you let it'. A fine piece of radio writing from Neil Nixon.
The production also earned nominations for a Sony Radio Academy Award [as Best Single Drama] and a Richard Imison Memorial Award. It was performed in New York by the Mind the Gap Theatre Company, a troupe composed of British and Irish actors. Jason Grant from the company told me: You've written a bloody masterpiece here mate, read it in one sitting, could picture the whole thing. Wonderful from start to finish, well done!
Not bad for a first full–length radio script, especially one that only came into being because the same idea was struggling to get an agent when presented as a novel. The play was part of the portfolio of work presented by Oneword Radio in their successful attempt to retain the Sony Radio Academy Award as Best Digital Station in 2002.
My part — Rob Stevens: College lecturer!
You can download the radio production from Plays on the Net:
CHILDREN OF THE REVOLUTION — ONEWORD RADIO 2002
Two part, feature length, radio drama written to mark the 25th anniversary of the death of Marc Bolan, the thirtieth anniversary of the release of Children of the Revolution and Bolan's 55th birthday. All of which coincided in September 2002.
Four ill–assorted Bolan fans arrange a meeting in London. They tour the capital, taking in Bolan landmarks. Each character brings a mass of personal baggage and their fragile alliance constantly threatens to break. Gradually Marc's music and his magic spell draw them together to a final emotional scene at the site of the car accident that claimed the life of their hero.
Marc himself makes regular appearances in interview recordings. His hits and some fan favourite album tracks punctuate the action. The play also includes messages from real Bolan fans and a selection of the touching messages left by fans at the site of Bolan's accident.
My part — Ted, a Cumbrian lorry driver.
ETV LIVE SHOW — KENT COUNTY COUNCIL 2003
My most recent corporate production. An epic in four parts investigating the changes brought about by e–government. Performed live at County Hall, Maidstone and recorded for future generations! The action rips through spoof productions of Mastermind, Question Time, The Office and the Trisha show as the scale and benefits of local government on–line gradually dawn on the people and employees of the county. Starring roles include Mike Pitt, Chief Executive of the Council and — apparently — the highest paid individual to hold such a post in the UK.
My part — A cameo as a gormless passer by.
ONEWORD RADIO/PLAYS ON THE NET — RECORDED 2002
Feature length drama starring DJ Bob Harris.
Andy and Lloyd grow up together in Wigton, Cumbria. They leave school together in the early seventies. Lloyd settles down to a banking career, Andy pursues his ‘Heart of Gold’ in London and across the USA. Only their love of music maintains a bond between them. The pair unexpectedly meet in Kent over twenty five years later as the precocious Josie, a little girl with big secrets, starts to weave a spell that will change their lives for ever. DJ Bob Harris makes regular cameo appearances, playing music to mark the passing years.
My part — Lloyd
DRIFTWOOD — ONEWORD RADIO — 2002
Half hour, two hander drama, with feel good finale, first broadcast in March 2002.
Twelve year old Jodie lives with her father, a bitter, heavy drinking ex-soldier. Her happiest moments are spent walking horses on the beach as she helps out at a run down riding school. Her security is threatened by the arrival of Archie, a mysterious stranger, who seems to want all of Jodie's favourite jobs.
My part — Archie.
I worked for Sooty Films [and comics] for a couple of years, a fact that still seems to interest some people. To be honest I didn't do a massive amount of work for the company and the best piece of all — a treatment for a projected new cartoon series — was shelved when they were taken over. A real shame, it was one of the best ideas I ever had.
We'll keep it brief. I've written radio and print comedy by the shed load, notable scripting work includes some material for BBC Radio 4 going back to the days of Week Ending and some comic strip characters, one of whom — Scotland the Brave — is here to meet you again after all these years. I've written stand up comedy for others and turned out factual material for radio and television, some of which is mentioned on the consultancy page included on this site.
Visit Neil's consultancy page: