Telstar, New Ambassadors, London

More of a light breeze than a real tornado
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The Independent Culture

Meek's meteoric rise and fall in the Sixties was the stuff of tragedy and comparisons might be drawn with the ballsy life and gruesome death of Joe Orton at the hands of Kenneth Halliwell. Moran and his co-author James Hicks' opening scenes are somewhat clumsy, predicting Meek's murderous and suicidal final moments then cutting back to his budding success, producing number one hits in his shabby London flat with comically stroppy bands including The Tornados.

Many of the smaller roles in Paul Jepson's production are crudely caricatured, especially Joseph Morgan's Heinz Burt, the talentless protégé with whom Meeks becomes besotted.

Linda Robson is also on automatic pilot as the hacked-off but kindly landlady. That said, the chart-topping songs are slipped in remarkably deftly, without halting the storyline, and the central performance by Con O'Neill gathers a ferocious, desperate momentum.

To 10 Sept, 0870 060 6627

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