The BBC commissioned Neil to adapt and score The Wind in the Willows as a concert piece for actors and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, to be recorded for broadcast on Radio 4 and Radio 3 at Christmas 2013.
The Wind in the Willows, starring Stephen Mangan, Clare Skinner, Philip Jackson and the BBC Symphony Orchestra was highly successfully broadcast on Radios 3 and 4 and there are plans for another epic radio piece for 2014.
Neil’s music was highly praised in Michael Eaton’s series of five radio plays ‘Dickens in London’ adapted for film by Chris Newby.
Neil appeared on BBC1’s The One Show and in two radio documentaries for BBC Radio 4 as well as acting in Mark Lawson’s new radio play ‘The Man Who Knows’ produced by Eoin O’ Callaghan for BBC Belfast.
2012 – an exciting year in prospect for Neil with a new orchestral / radio drama commission, high-profile performances of his hugely successful orchestral scores for Blackmail and Underground and even a new project for BBC TV – watch this space!
Neil was contracted by the Cinematheque Francaise to provide piano soundtrack to two classic Albatros releases of the 1920s starring Ivan Mousjoukine, Le Brasier Ardent and Maison du Mystere. The recording took place in Paris in September.
Neil and Paul Merton performed two live ‘Silent Clowns’ shows this autumn, at the Cinema Museum, Kennington on September 3rd and the Leeds International Film Festival on November 9th.
Neil also appeared with the Dodge Brothers at the New Forest Festival on September 18th and Cheltenham Festival on November 3rd.
Following the huge success of Blackmail in October 2010, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Barbican commissioned Neil composed a new full-orchestral score for Anthony Asquith’s 1928 silent ‘Underground’, which premiered on October 5th 2011.
Set in the London Underground and dealing with a love triangle that descends into madness and murder, this film is a wonderful mix of gritty thriller, warm romance and quirky magical realist drama – Virtually unseen for decades because of technical problems with the print, the gorgeous new restoration by the BFI National Film Archive places the film firmly amongst the greatest British silent films and, to my mind, even gives Hitchcock a run for his money.
Neil live-recorded his new afternoon musical The Big Broadcast (set in a 30s Chicago radio station) in front of a packed BBC Radio Theatre – the stars were Josie Lawrence and Nigel Harman and the piece was broadcast on June 1st 2011.
Neil scored the BBC Radio 4 adaptation of ‘Showboat’ and ‘Paul Merton’s The Birth of Hollywood’ series for BBC4.