Poignant story of musician in Hemel

Actor Martin Freeman
Actor Martin Freeman

Nick Drake released three albums between 1969 and 1972, none of which sold well on initial release.

He took his life overdosing on anti-depressants in 1974. He was 26.

Since then, his work has been re-evaluated and his records have sold in their millions. He is cited as one of the most influential songwriters of the last 50 years and is heralded by acts like Paul Weller, Kate Bush, Ellie Goulding and R.E.M.

The extraordinary story of a lost Nick Drake recording will be told at the Old Town Hall in Hemel Hempstead at 8pm on Friday, February 24.

Composer and performer Michael Burdett discovered the recording in a skip in the 1970s.

Thirty years later he decided to share it in an imaginative way. He set off around the country offering strangers the opportunity to hear it in exchange for being photographed.

Out of this came a collection of photos and stories from people all over Britain including Billy Bragg, Tom Stoppard, Fearne Cotton, Martin Freeman and Noel Fielding.

The result is a quirky, funny and poignant award-winning solo show - a celebration of life, coincidences and the legacy of singer songwriter Nick Drake.

Critics have emphasised that it is not necessary to know anything about Drake to warm to the show.

Burdett has written music for television, radio and theatre. He has written everything from the theme tunes to Masterchef and Homes Under The Hammer to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s posing music for the bodybuilding documentary Total rebuild.

Tickets for Strange Face - Adventures With a Lost Nick Drake Recording are £14, £12, £10 and £5.

Call the box office on 01442 228091 or book online at www.oldtownhall.co.uk.