ENTERTAINMENT — 16 January 2014

By Shelley Marsden

It was brief and it was bizarre, but the career of Joe Meek was explosive. And the play that tells the story of one of the first independent record producers (co-written by London-Irish actor Nick Moran of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels fame) is just as riveting.

Set in Meek’s studio, a rundown flat over a handbag shop on the Holloway Road, it was here Meek defied the incredibly limited resources available to him, built his own studio and recorded three dynamite hits of the period: Johnny Remember Me, Have I The Right and of course;Telstar.

London-based Tower Theatre is bringing this manic, evocative drama of music and madness to the stage. It takes us on the fascinating journey through Meek’s most prolific period from his first chart success in 1961 with the multi-million selling record, Telstar, to his struggles with his closet homosexuality, debt and depression.

The inspired recording sessions and wild times had by his band, an unrequited love for his protégé and a fateful alliance with his landlady all shape the destiny of this pioneering record producer’s short life.

Keep a close eye out and you’ll see a blue plaque to the late producer above a pub on the Holloway Road.

Telstar is at the Bridewell Theatre, London from Tues Jan 28 – Sat Feb 1, with a matinee at 3pm on Sat Feb 1 (tickets £12-£10). Book at 020 7353 1700 or online at www.towertheatre.org.uk.

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