Sometimes Always Never (aka Triple Word Score)


Sometimes Always Never is a drama about words and loss. It tells the story of family with an exceptional Scrabble vocabulary who cannot put their words to use and communicate with each other, and their journey to reconnect.

In life, the right words score more than points. Sometimes Always Never is written by Frank Cottrell Boyce and directed by Carl Hunter. Bill Nighy stars as Alan.


ALAN: The only good thing about Jazz is that you get 39 for it in Scrabble.

STRANGER: In fact you can’t play the word Jazz in Scrabble. There’s only one “z” in the set.

ALAN: Oh, is that right? Very interesting that. Only one z.

Alan is in the lounge of a B&B in the Peak District. There’s a tottering pile of board games in the corner. The ‘Stranger’ is a middle aged man called Arthur who is there with his wife Margaret. Alan catches the scent of weakness and insecurity in Arthur’s jovial pedantry. Within moments he has manipulated his fellow guests into playing – and betting money – on a game of Scrabble. Alan gives the impression he barely knows how to play the game and hasn’t played it for years.

Poor Arthur has been hustled. And they’re not just playing for money; as far as Alan and his superstitious beliefs are concerned, they are playing for their sons’ lives.


With an Arts School background, Carl Hunter will create a visual poem, featuring Lancashire’s ‘sprout prairies’ and Merseyside’s windswept coastline.  Heavily influenced by Czech and Russian filmmakers, under Carl’s direction Sometimes Always Never will combine British talent with a continental European style.

Frank Cottrell Boyce is a celebrated screenwriter and novelist, having written feature films such as 24 Hour Party People, A Cock and Bull Story, and The Railway Man. Sometimes Always Never features Frank’s sharp vocabulary and his exceptional ability to navigate difficult relationships in scripts.

Bill Nighy stars as Alan. One of Britain’s best loved actors, notable roles include Billy Mack in Love Actually, Rufus Scrimgeour in Harry Potter, and Douglas in  The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.