budy, bopper and valens

Hannah Price, (left), Harry Boyd, Christopher Weeks as Buddy, Rhiannon Hopkins, Joshua Barton as The Big Bopper and Ben Pryer as Richie Valens

Buddy -The Buddy Holly Story

Coventry Belgrade


That's what I call a show! It's a foot-tapping, dance-inducing, dynamic, entertaining show that's perfect for a night out.

Christopher Weeks, alternating the role with A. J. Jenks, is Buddy, with a brilliant personality and musicianship, providing a gripping performance and very watchable.

Onstage musicians are amazing throughout where two separate variety shows display these talents to the full. The Apollo Theatre in New York's Harlem was a difficult gig at the start of their careers where a white act was a rarity, however with support from some amazing acts they won over the audience.

The second was the infamous Winter Dance Party tour and his final gig in Clear Lake, Iowa, with Joshua Barton as the Big Bopper with Chantilly Lace and Ben Pryer as Richie Valens with La Bamba, both of whom died alongside him on that fateful night, the 'day the music died'.

Cleverly, that fateful night is displayed with a sudden darkness, quiet and a silent guitar alone on stage, just for a split second, and then the music starts again, more dynamic than ever.

Buddy Holly and The Crickets, Joe B. Maudlin as Joe, Josh Haberfield as Jerry on the drums, and another unnamed but nevertheless applauded, could have taken Nashville by storm as country artists with a deal with Decca in the bag.

But it wasn't what Buddy wanted. He wanted to play his kind of music his way, a rock and roller to his boots. With the range of music in the show, it's amazing how his music provides the playlist for so many lives with Peggy Sue, Every Day, Words of Love, True Love Ways, Heartbeat, Brown-eyed Fancy Man and many more included in the show. Everything is based around 3 February, the day he died, leaving newly married Marie Elena (Hannah Price) expecting their first baby and only three years into a sparkling career. This show is in its 30th year and still going strong, also well worth celebrating a career that influenced so many rock and rollers beyond 1959. Well worth a look. To 09-11-19

Jane Howard


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