If you're thinking that John Peel's Shed is a catchily titled work that trades on the great DJ's name but actually has very little to do with him, then think again. Eight years after John Peel died suddenly and so tragically in Peru, John Osborne is doing as much as anyone to keep the legendary DJ's good name alive.
Peel was known as an unfailingly decent and likeable human being who, despite being handed the keys to the executive washroom many years ago, continued to prosper by simply being himself, evidently amazed at the high regard in which he was held. For him, being a disc jockey was simply playing records and talking in-between (if you had to).
A man in possession of countless musical treasures, Peel also earned a reputation for generosity and, with his fans, a personal touch. One such beneficiary was the writer John Osborne (not the late playwright of Look Back in Anger fame) who won a box of records, allegorically from John Peel's shed, back in 2002.
Osborne's debut book, Radio Head, had chronicled what happened when he decided to listen to a different radio station every day, all day, for a month. From such humble origins, Osborne produced a critically acclaimed work. Less humble was the collection of rarities and oddities that Peel had gifted him a decade ago.
The box of records 'took eight years to listen to' but Osborne, being a driven soul, has done just that and produced another gem in the stage show John Peel's Shed which features rare recordings by obscure and now defunct bands and presents an extraordinary opportunity for Peel fans.
John Osborne will be playing some of Peel's finest and rarest records, and talking in-between, at London's Soho Theatre from 25th July to 4th August. We have tickets available now, priced from just £10.
Before the London run, John Peel's Shed can be seen at Latitude in July and, after the Soho dates, heads off to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 7th to 12th August (at Underbelly).