Friends and family raised £8,000 for the funeral of a talented and much-loved performer.

An inquest heard how Rudi Last, 30, tragically died on March 29 after taking methamphetamine and GHB.

A fundraising page for his funeral has so far raised £7,900 in the four months since his death, with family organising a farewell party in his honour.

Mr Last, who worked for several cruise lines as a performer, was described as gifted by coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray after reading a tribute by his family.

At an inquest on Monday she said: “Whenever there has been a death there can be all sorts of emotions, feels, anxieties and concerns all swirling around.

“Rudi was quite a globe trotter and was probably away for months on end, that was the sort of life he led. He sounded ever so gifted and talented.

“This was an accident, a tragic accident. A gifted young man with a future career ahead of him, how sad.

“There were many of his colleagues at the funeral, it shows how much he was loved.

“I hope you will be able to look back on happy memories you have of him.”

Braintree and Witham Times:

The former Tabor Academy student took a BTEC performing arts course at Braintree College before winning a scholarship in musical theatre at Liverpool Theatre School, aged just 18.

His medical background included depression and recreational drug use.

Also speaking during the inquest, coroner’s officer Jonathon Hall said: “He had taken Methamphetamine and GHB that night.

“He fell asleep at about 12am, snoring so loudly he slept in the spare room.

“At 8am an ambulance was called when he was found unresponsive.

“The police reported the death as non-suspicious.

“His cause of death was recorded as intake of methamphetamine and GHB.”

Pc Chatwin, who was on duty in uniform that night, attended St Michael's Road where officers met the last person to see him alive, who was at home with Rudi.

He told officers the pair been together and had been drinking vodka and taking GHB, yet no official statement was taken from him.

Pc Chatwin said: “We didn’t find anything suspicious, there were no marks on his body.

“On that day from what we found, myself, PC Robinson and the duty inspector, there were was nothing suspicious.”