Neil has recently recorded piano accompaniments to Schloss Vogelod (Murnau), Spione (Fritz Lang), The Woman Men Wanted (Dietrich), Die Grosse Sprung (Leni Riefenstahl) and When I was a man (Lubitsch) for the FW Murnau Institute which will be aired on European TV and ultimately receive DVD release. Neil has also recorded a piano accompaniment for the 1925 Charlie Chaplin classic The Gold Rush released on DVD by French TV company MK2, along with the 1934 reissue with Chaplin’s own score. Neil’s score uses melodies from the compilation conductor’s score of that first performance.
Neil’s new jazz score for E A Dupont’s Piccadilly was featured in a sell-out performance at the 2000 seat Barbican Concert Hall to great acclaim, (described by Phillip French in the Observer as ‘the cinemagoing event of the year’) and was performed live in the Piazza Maggiore, Bologna in July. It has now been released as a BFI DVD.
Neil scored Paul Leni’s The Cat and the Canary for Photoplay Productions. This spooky house comedy-horror is scored for 12 musicians including Theremin, conducted by maestro Timothy Brock, and received rave reviews as the closing event of the Pordenone Silent Film Festival in October 2004.
It played on Film Four, will play on ARTE and in the States and will eventually be released on DVD.
His radio play, STAN, about Stan Laurel’s last meeting with stroke victim Oliver Hardy, went out on Radio 4 at 2.15, Friday July 30th 2004, starring Tom Courtenay as Stan Laurel. It was received with great critical acclaim, being Pick of the Day in most broadsheets as well as the Radio Times and featuring prominently on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Pick of the Week’ and ‘Feedback’. See the STAN page on this website. Subsequently nominated for the Sony radio awards.
Neil appeared in the BBC2 series ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ in the episode featuring soprano Lesley Garrett’s search for her roots, particularly her grandfather, Colin Wall, who was a silent film musician in Rotherham.
He has also done a day’s filming as a movie pianist for Ken Loach’s film, The Wind the Shakes the Barley.