AustLit logo
image of person or book cover 4078407426335118122.jpg
Nicholas Parsons Nicholas Parsons i(A34378 works by) (a.k.a. Nick Parsons)
Born: Established: 1961 ;
Gender: Male
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.


Dramatist, screenwriter and director.

The son of theatre critic, Katharine Brisbane and theatre academic/editor Philip Parsons, Nicholas Parsons is a graduate of both the Australian Film, Television and Radio School and the National Institute of Dramatic Art. He completed the directing and writing courses concurrently in both institutions. Since then he has directed more than a dozen stage plays, two short films, television drama, a documentary series and a feature film. He has also written a number of full-length stage plays, a stage musical, several one-act plays, a feature film, numerous episodes for television series and serials, and several radio plays.

As a theatre writer Parsons has produced such plays as The Visitor (1991), Pest House (1991), The White Room (1992), Dead Heart (1993), and Hollow Ground (2000). A reconceived version of Hollow Ground was produced by the Old Nick Theatre Company in Hobart in 2008. That same year also saw his musical, A Nasty Piece of Work premiere at the New Theatre in Sydney.

Parson's directorial credits for the theatre include: The Removalists (1990, NIDA), Norm and Ahmed (1991, Griffin Theatre), A Handful of Friends (1994, NIDA), The Devils (1994, NIDA), and a sold-out season of Tony Zeane's new play, Burnt (2008, La Mama).

In 1996 Parson's own feature film adaptation of Dead Heart (which he also directed) was released to much acclaim. It went on to be nominated for three AFI Awards and won a Film Critics' Circle Award for Best Screen Adaptation. He has since been involved in such films as Sun's Gateway (1998, as script editor), The Last Post and Serenades (2001, both as script editor), Homecoming (2004, writer), Restraint (2005, writer), Clubland, Newcastle, Cedar Boys, and Caterpillar Wish (all 2006, as script editor), and Beautiful Kate (2008, as script editor).

Parson's television credits as a writer include two episodes of Heartland (1993), four episodes of Pacific Drive (1996), The King (2005, as script editor), 'The Saviour (Two Twisted, 2006), Tipping Point (2007, 16-part mini-doc series for The Weather Channel), five episodes of the children’s TV series My Place (2009/2011), one episode of Rough Justice (2011) and five episodes of the crime drama series The Straits (2012).

Parsons has been recognised with a New South Wales Literary Award (for the Dead Heart play), an AWGIE Award and the Australian Human Rights Award (for The White Room, 1992), and the Ian Reed Memorial Grand Prize for radio drama. He has also had AFI nominations for Best Short Film and Best Adapted Screenplay, a second AWGIE nomination for best stage play for an early draft of Hollow Ground and a nomination for the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award for an episode of the ABC TV series My Place. He won his second AWGIE for ‘1868 – Minna’, an episode for the second season of My Place, and his third, with other writers on the series, for The Straits.

Most Referenced Works

Awards for Works

form y separately published work icon Old School ( dir. Peter Templeman et. al. )agent 2013 Australia : Matchbox Pictures ABC Television , 2013 6005190 2013 series - publisher film/TV crime

'Old School is an eight part drama series created for ABC Television. Bryan Brown will play retired crim Lennie Cahill and Sam Neill will play retired cop Ted McCabe, who get together to solve crimes, unravel scams and make some much-needed cash, while avoiding the wrath of the police and the underworld. The characters were originally depicted in the short film Lennie Cahill Shoots Through by Paul Oliver.'

2014 shortlisted AWGIE Awards Television Mini-Series - Original
form y separately published work icon The Straits ( dir. Peter Andrikidis et. al. )agent Australia : Matchbox Pictures Australian Broadcasting Corporation , 2012 Z1787533 2012 series - publisher film/TV crime

'Set among the turquoise waters and lethal wildlife of Australia's Far North Queensland and the Torres Strait, The Straits is an exotic, darkly humorous crime drama.

'The Montebellos are not your average Australian family. Modern day smugglers, their family business is transporting drugs into Australia and guns and exotic wildlife out, making use of ties of blood and loyalty in the Torres Strait Islands.

'When Harry, the head of the family, starts to plan his succession, a power struggle is sparked between brother and brother, wife and daughter. Under attack from ambitious bikies and mercurial PNG Raskols, the family must hold together through torture, assassination and imprisonment.'

Source: ABC1 website,
Sighted: 30/01/2012

2012 winner Deadly Sounds Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Music, Sport, Entertainment and Community Awards Television Show of the Year
2012 winner AWGIE Awards Television Mini-Series - Original
form y separately published work icon 1868 Minna ( dir. Michael James Rowland ) Australia : Matchbox Pictures , 2011 Z1821806 2011 single work film/TV children's

'Minna lives with strict German-born parents who privately hope their young daughter's friendship with the well-to-do Owen children — Toby, Harold and Adelaide — will do her some good. However, Minna's parents have no clue what these kids get up to when they're on their own. Their favourite game is seeing who can scare the others the most. But when the Owens blame Minna for a disaster caused by their own children, Minna decides to give them the fright of their life. Unwisely, Minna helps herself to her friend Lecks' beloved magic lantern to carry out her revenge and soon she is in more trouble than ever.'

(Australian Television Information Archive record)

2011 winner AWGIE Awards Children's Award Children's Television: C Classification
Last amended 31 Oct 2014 09:34:53
Other mentions of "" in AustLit: