“I have spent twelve years reconstructing a life after it going pear-shaped,” he said.
“It’s been a hard journey.”
Part of the reconstruction was delving further into writing plays and commencing as 612 ABC Brisbane’s theatre critic about 10 years ago.
“I’ve been fortunate to go on to be a reasonably successful playwright,” Nigel said of the almost 20 plays he’s produced.
“I’ve a long history of theatre in Brisbane and the UK … (and) I’m writing my first novel.”
With a weekly Friday-afternoon segment with ABC presenter Kelly Higgins-Devine, Nigel revels in the theatre critic role.
“It’s kind of a scary thing because I’ve gone from this nobody to everyone hanging out to see what I’m going to say,” he said of the reviewer title.
“People tell me that they look forward to my reviews because they have integrity and are always honest.
“I have this theory that you need to be able to put yourself in the position of the arts practitioner and remember what it feels like to cop criticism.
“My work is always out there – I’m still a producer of work, I’m still a writer of work, occasionally still a performer as well.
“I don’t think you can give useful criticism from an ivory tower.”
Nigel said his reviews “come from a spiritual outlook”. “Most people realise I come from a Christ-centred viewpoint,” he said.
“I’m interested in interaction between the spirit and faith and spiritual values generally … about the arts and whether or not a piece of performance art does anything for the spirit.”
Spearheading the current radio stations on campuses in Brisbane, Melbourne, Strathfield and Ballarat, and moving into Canberra currently and Sydney before the year’s end, Nigel remains “excited by the potential of the university to engage with students on a spiritual level”.
ACU Radio National has also helped him “reconstruct” himself and his faith.
“I know very well that I wouldn’t have survived without the university and without my faith,” he said.
“I have to hang on to God and that firm sense that He is there and there is light at the end of the tunnel.
“This illness would be very difficult to survive without a belief system.”
ACU Radio National is accessible to staff and students between 11am and 3pm on weekdays, with the Brisbane campus contributing to the network on a Monday.
Their future goals are also set for accessibility for all via the Internet.
The Catholic Leader is an Australian award-winning Catholic newspaper that has been published by the Archdiocese of Brisbane since 1929. Our journalism seeks to provide a full, accurate and balanced Catholic perspective of local, national and international news while upholding the dignity of the human person.
The Catholic Leader acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the First Peoples of this country and especially acknowledge the traditional owners on whose lands we live and work throughout the Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane.