IT IS tempting to wonder if this one-man theatre piece could have been based around the life of another musical icon. Madonna, say, or Freddie Mercury.

But then one realises it simply has to be David Bowie, that champion of the outsider. From Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads, written by Adrian Berry and performed by Alex Walton, is a touching paeon to the Thin White Duke and an evocative portrayal of mental illness.

It follows Martin, a teenager with an eating disorder who feels all adrift in the world. We see him in regular meetings with his therapist and in fractious conversations with his alcoholic mother.

One day Martin prises open a mysterious crate lying in his mother's bedroom. In it, he finds practically Bowie's entire back catalogue on vinyl record and a host of memorabilia around the Starman.

The collection, it turns out, belonged to Martin's father who deserted the family when Martin was just two. In one photograph, Martin's father stretches out his arm towards Bowie as the pop legend gets into a limousine.

That sign of obsession is echoed by Martin as he begins his own journey with Bowie – quite literally, as he sets off for London to fulfill the quest that his father has left for him in map form.

What Berry does well is tease out the complexities of fan worship; as much as Bowie's music gets Martin through some very hard times, his idolisation accentuates his tendency towards compulsive behaviour.

The show is at its strongest when dwelling on the wonders and pitfalls of art in general – that it can open your eyes, take you to a higher place, but sometimes make the real world around you seem a dreary, joyless place by comparison.

As Martin carries out his London odyssey, visiting the landmark spots of Bowie's early life, there are some standout scenes. Walton is terrific when belting out a dodgy version of Starman at The Greyhound in Croydon, the pub where Bowie played his first gig.

Equally as affecting is Martin's sudden breakdown in first a takeaway shop and then a phone box. Having starved himself for two days, he wolfs down a kebab and is immediately plagued with remorse.

It feels almost churlish to criticise the show given Walton's immense passion and skill in his one-man role, but From Ibiza to Norfolk Broad's storyline is underdeveloped at times and feels rushed at others.

It's a tall order to deliver a fully-fleshed, poignant production in just an hour and parts of Martin's London trip don't quite have the emotional impact they seek to provide – particularly his visits to Bowie's childhood home and school.

The narration is slightly simplistic, too, and the use of a third-person narrator feels rather a cop-out; Walton tells us rather than shows us the key facts of Martin's life in an unimaginative monologue at the start of the show.

Nonetheless, this is a heartfelt show that will resonate with theatregoers whether they are Bowie superfans or not.