Neil had two writing projects broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in December 2009 – a new 45-minute play, Headliner, dealing with the politics of stand-up comedy during an election in an ex-Soviet satellite country, and (with ‘Clare in the Community’ creator Harry Venning) a new six-part comedy series, Sneakiepeeks, about a covert surveillance team.
Neil’s score for the silent version of Hitchcock’s ‘Blackmail’ for 60-piece orchestra for the Bologna Film Festival was performed to enormous acclaim before 5000 people on July 1st 2008, in the Piazza Maggiore by the Opera House Orchestra of Bologna, conducted by Timothy Brock. Plans were made with the BBC Symphony Orchestra for a London premiere in 2010. See review.
Neil recently scored ‘The Wrecker’ (1929), directed by Géza von Bolváry, for DVD.
In May 2008, Neil enjoyed a superb collaboration with The Umbilical Brothers in ‘Flicker’ a specially-commissioned show for Cat Laughs Comedy Festival, Kilkenny.
Neil performed his own show in Edinburgh 2008: ‘Neil Brand – the Silent Pianist Speaks’ to critical acclaim. He has since played in London, Orkney, Bath, Tromso, Bonn, Zurich, Inverness and in rural touring venues. See separate page and Forthcoming Events for this year’s dates.
His radio play, ‘Seeing it through’ aired on Radio 3 in October 2007 – it is a political drama set against the background of Wellington House, the deeply secret department of propaganda during World War One. See Guardian review.
Neil recently recorded scores for DVD releases ‘Mitchell and Kenyon in Ireland’, ‘The Open Road’ (BFI, both with Gunter Buchwald), Bluebell Railway No 3 (Bluebell/South-East Screen Archive) and The Life Story of David Lloyd George (Welsh Film Archive). The Silent Britain BBC documentary for which he composed the music is now available through Kino in the States – this DVD is available from BFI Film and Video.
Neil’s score for ‘The Cat and the Canary’ was performed to great acclaim at the New Zealand Film Festival in July 2007.
Neil appeared with Paul Merton on Room 101 in March, defending Charlie Chaplin from the wrath of Ian Hislop. For those who missed it, Charlie didn’t make it into Room 101.
Neil is very proud to have had his radio play ‘Getting the Joke’ shortlisted for the Tinniswood Award, given by the Society of Authors and the Writers Guild for outstanding radio drama. The play concerned the trial for obscenity of 80-year-old postcard king Donald McGill.