Writing



My most recent production was a Radio Play for BBC Radio 4 -Ten Funerals & A Wedding  - broadcast in October 2015. It's the story of  a Humanist Celebrant who must complete her probationary funeral quota so that she can conduct her best friend's wedding.  My first play for radio - The Incomplete Works of Dave McCabe - was broadcast in 2009.

I'm currently developing a stage play called Landing, set in the stairwell of an Edinburgh tenement block in 1891, 1941 and 1991.  The play was commissioned by Creative Scotland following the success of three previous stage productions.  For details of these, scroll down. 
Set model for What Happened Is This  and photograph by Claire Halleran (www.clairehalleran.weebly.com)

Naked Neighbour (twitching blind)
Tramway Theatre 2009
directed by Rob Evans
sound: Mark Melvielle
design: Claire Halleran
lighting: Simon Wilkinson
performed by Ben Lewis and Ros Sydney
 
A tale of love, regret and death, told by a woman who appears in the guise of an Afterlife Detective. Not unlike an angel, though bearing a resemblance to Humphrey Bogart, she tells the story of a composer who has fallen out with the world. One day, a charming girl of uncertain origin falls through his roof. This chance meeting seems sure to save him from madness. He and the girl discover a shared passion for freestyle harmony. Romance beckons. However, there’s a box in the attic, the contents of which he dare not admit.
 
"Noel Coward meets Desperate Housewives.  Bizarre and beautiful."
 
"Gorgeous images, intriguing text and beautiful songs.  Quite hypnotic.  A rare treat."
The Skinny
 
The List Preview:
www.list.co.uk/article/15503-naked-neighbour-twitching-blind/
 
Audio samples:
https://soundcloud.com/nickunderwood/naked-neighbour-twitching-blind-montage

  1. Title 1
Photographs by Simon Wilkinson, Lighting Designer ( www.simonwilkinson.net)

What Happened Is This
Tron Theatre 2011
directed by Louie Ingham
sound: Mark Melville
design: Claire Halleran
lighting: Simon Wilkinson
performed by Nick Underwood, Joannah Tincey & Jim Kitson

A woman in her late youth leaves her weather-forecasting husband and moves back in to her childhood home where her Dad runs an indie radio station in the attic.  She finds he has taken on a younger vagabond DJ-musician to help secure the survival of the station.  Against her better judgement she becomes attracted to this new recruit.   But the spectre of her all-knowing mother, absent for 17 years, looms ever larger and presses them to recognise that the unexpected was inevitable.
"An invigorating, powerful and beautifully scripted story – heartfelt, funny, provocative and moving."
Subcity Radio

 
 
Audio Sample:
https://soundcloud.com/nickunderwood/mariannes-song

Testimonials for What Happened . . .
Matthew Lenton
Artistic Director
Vanishing Point Theatre Company
"This was the second of Nick’s plays that I’ve seen.  Like the first, the piece had an original  and engrossing narrative in which characters inhabit a slightly off-kilter universe.  His writing is sparse, humorous and builds quickly to create a comprehensively authentic, intriguing and engaging story in this peculiar world.  It generates the feeling that anything can happen and the climax is surprising and rewarding.
A truly original voice in the hands of an adept and skilled group of artists."

 
Andy Arnold
Artistic Director
Tron Theatre
"We programmed this new piece by Nick Underwood for a week at the end of March this year.  I was familiar with Nick's work and believe him to be a strong writing and devising talent.
I thought the play was very clever indeed and totally engaging.  I can only describe it as a romantic comedy staged in an existential and slightly anarchic format.  It was full of theatricality and invention and the performances were very deadpan and assured. The dialogue was witty and incisive.
I strongly believe that this play should have a future life and I would support any effort that Nick makes to achieve that."

One Night Stand
Tron Theatre 2010
directed by Sam Rowe
sound: Mark Melville
design/lighting: Kai Fischer
performed by
Melody Grove & Nick Underwood

Written in verse, the play is a darkly comic story of a 24 hour romance.  It's narrated by a young man who stops in his car at a traffic light and sees a lone woman whom he vaguely recognises.  Unsure of how they know each other, she gets in, showing a suspicious degree of abandon.  He falls for her at break-neck speed.  But her Devil-may-care behaviour is born of an awful grief.  Revealing the cause of this grief, she finds herself pulling away from the frivolous affair, whilst he is drawn destructively close.

"There’s a huge rush of talent on stage in Nick Underwood’s new one-hour show. . . . The sheer boldness and erotic energy of the writing carries the play through to its sad and thoughtful conclusion.”  The Scotsman

 
Audio sample:
https://soundcloud.com/nickunderwood/one-night-stand-end-song
 
Photographs by Lighting and Set Designer, Kai Fischer (www.kaifischer.co.uk)