Based in London, Megg is committed to giving back to the Songwriting community that has supported her career by leading workshops such as THE BIG DEMO LISTENING EVENT, SONGSHOP & TALK TO MY MANAGER to give developing songwriters commercial opportunities for their work to be heard.
She also lectures on the postgraduate MA Music Management Degree at London College of Music and has sat on the Songwriter’s Executive of the BRITSH ACADEMY OF SONGWRITERS COMPOSERS AND AUTHORS for many years. Currently she serves on the committee of management for the MEMBER’S BENEVOLENT FUND of PRS FOR MUSIC.
Her first publishing deal was with SPARTA FLORIDA with a song she co-wrote with HAL SHAPER.
"I’ve been writing songs since I got my first guitar at fifteen, but I didn’t get paid for doing it until my third year at Drama College in Edinburgh, when the score hadn’t been sent with the parcel of scripts for an end of term semi-musical production of John Arden’s ‘THE ROYAL PARDON’ . Apparently the publishers had none left and to re-order would be too late. Seeing the director was in a tight spot I volunteered to compose new music to go with the original lyrics and played them to her at the next rehearsal. The director was highly delighted and bought me a bottle of wine...result!
I had no idea at that point that you could actually make money doing what I had just done. I was simply being helpful.
Then in my first radio play for Radio 4 as an actor in CORRESPONDENCES with Marius Goring, I over heard the producer saying they couldn’t get clearance for a song they wanted to use in the play. I cheekily asked what the song was and went home and wrote a new song with the same sentiment. The producer liked it, recorded the song with me singing and this time I got actual money and a contract.
Suddenly, the penny dropped, people needed specially written songs for all sorts of things and producers didn’t always know who to ask to do the job."
Fast forward till now and Megg’s got hundreds of songs under her belt written for BBC and ITV including lots of children’s programs such as LISTENING CORNER.
This daily program ate up lots of material and she often presented it as well as writing the music and scripts.
‘ The show was such a delight to do, especially if it was with someone who had a jolly sense of humour like MICHAEL ROSEN for instance . In that case we presented the program together and I wrote music to some of his fabulous poems and we sang them’
....And there were many others too such as HOPSCOTCH, JIGSAW, KNICKITY KNACKITY, all long running series plus LETS SEE and GATHER ROUND.
Perhaps the most ground breaking was being included on the songwrtiting team of YOUR MOTHER WOULDN’T LIKE IT . This was a naughty teenage light entertainment program that prided itself in doing funny and outrageous sketches that often inlcuded spoof Pop songs. The show was very popular and won a BAFTA in the 'Best Light Entertainment and Drama' Category.
In fact Megg made children’s music a specialty and she has written and produced numerable “Edutainment” products. Such as KID STUFF RADIO, THE SING N” DO SERIES and INSTRUMENTS OF THE ORCHESTRA. Scripts for the animation series THE SECRET LIFE OF BENJAMIN BEAR.
Writing for the theatre has always been important to Megg and in 2015 she collaborated on her first opera with David Stoll co‐writing the words and music for THE DRUMMER BOY OF WATERLOO a children’s opera that Premiered in Aldeburgh with Jubilee Opera.
THE DRUMMER BOY OF WATERLOO is a new children’s opera, commissioned for the two hundredth anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. The photos here are by David Herman from the production by Jubilee Opera.... the world premiere.
The opera tells the story of Edward Drew a young lad, who was apprenticed to work in a northern textile mill when his mother died. He’d never known his father, but his father was a soldier, who’d gone to fight Napoleon in France.
Life was not easy at the mill and the children often had to work more than ten hours a day but eventually Edward made friends and settled down.
There was music in him, and the machines had rhythm of their own. Inside his head that rhythm didn’t stop even when the machines did. Edward could often be found drumming on anything he could find from crates to tabletops.
When Edward heard that the army needed boys to send drum signals on the battlefield, and that he would be suitable, he was very excited. However, the mill owner had other ideas; to him, the children were simply machinery to be worked until they were of no more use.
How Edward escaped, and what happened to him at Waterloo, is the story of this opera.
"The music of Nicol and Stoll was easy on the ear and very evocative of the action." Martyn Harrison - Seen and Heard International
"Megg Nicol and David Stoll have composed an attractive and highly effective work that deserves to find a secure place in the repertory of children’s opera. Everyone involved in this auspicious world premier is to be warmly congratulated." Gareth Jones - East Anglian Daily Times
"...Megg and David have created a work which, I'm sure, will enter the repertoire and will be enjoyed by performers and audiences alike for years to come” Chris Butler - Head of Publishing & Rights for the Music Sales Group
"The music is skilfully composed, with a variety of styles and an acute sense of what will work on stage" Gareth Jones - East Anglian Daily Times
"We (Jubilee Opera) were very proud and honoured to be able to give The Drummer Boy his first outing" Jenni Wake-Walker (Director)
Click here to read more about the world Premier.
Drummer Boy of Waterloo photographs courtesy of David Hermon.
Megg wrote ANOTHER ONE FOR THE ROAD with playright David Ian Neville for THE SCOTTISH YOUTH THEATRE which was a political play about the Jarrow March and the Peoples March for Jobs. The songs and music were performed by the cast within the show, with their own rock band.
WASTELAND WARRIOR again was written with David Ian Neville as a contender for HIGHLAND QUEST, the project backed by Cameron Mackintosh for the Eden Court Theatre in Inverness.
The story is set in the normally tranquil Highland town of Lochmuir as the fruit picking season begins. The same traveller family has helped in Donald McIntyre’s farm for over forty years; and they have become friends. But this year there is trouble brewing; as Kieran, the charismatic wayward son of traveller Tipp O’Donnell has brought a radical element to the group that severely disrupts the McIntyre family, the harvest and causes havoc the local community.
HIGHLAND FLING was an ‘alternative Scottish’ two woman show for Triple E-Productions in Sweden, that Megg wrote and performed with Christine Mckenna to full houses in Stockholm.
She also wrote songs for SPIKE MILLIGAN AND FRIENDS, the West End show and tour that was performed, by special request, as a Royal Command Performance for Prince Charles at The Lyric Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue.
TO YOUR GOOD HEALTH was a children’s show Megg wrote and peformed with Bernard Shaw. It was commissioned by the SCOTTISH ARTS COUNCIL and produced by Clerwood Theatre Company, under David I. Neville . There was a competition to design the album cover for the show and the winner was Alistair Santini a primary school pupil from Edinburgh.
In December 2018 the musical that Megg and David Stoll wrote called the LITTLE FIR TREE was premiered in a concert version at Kings Place, London with Sylvester McCoy as the narrator. They very much hope that the full scale musical version will be staged in the future. The photo is Megg and David with the cast, taking a bow at the Premiere.