buddy holly

Miguel Angel, AJ Jenks, Sasha Latoya, Cartier Fraser. Pictures: Rebecca Need-Menear

Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story

The Alexandra Theatre


Now on its 30th touring year, Buddy rocks back into Birmingham to tear it all up again. Packed with all of the hits and more, it’s an infectious cocktail of great music, superb performances and a cast of multi-talented performers, who faithfully recreate the sound of Buddy Holly from way back in the fifties.

Where some musicals rely on a separate band, here the cast play, act and sing everything and it makes such a difference to the joy and fun everyone has both onstage and off.

Heading up the cast for this performance, was Birmingham’s own young AJ Jenks who made the songs of Buddy Holly his own. While sound designer Peter Cox added an authentic and well-balanced mix to this energetic live show, Jenks delivered a unique performance that relied on his musical skill rather than a straightforward mimic of the iconic 50’s rock and roll star. This was even more evident when he played a stripped down version of True Love Ways with just his vocals and an acoustic guitar.

buddy wife 

True Love Ways: AJ Jenks as Buddy and Hannah Price as his young bride María Elena

At the other end of the experience ladder was Miguel Angel who has clocked up a staggering 1500 performances in Buddy and whose solo moment as Tyrone Jones singing Reet Petite, is a show highlight. Joshua Barton took on the role of The Big Bopper and also delivers a crowd pleasing version of Chantilly Lace.

The Crickets were made up of Christopher Weeks, Jordan Alexander, and Joe Butcher who never dropped a beat throughout the entire show.

There were also strong musical performances from Cartier Frasier, Sasha LaToya who provided most of the female singing characters and likewise Rhiannon Hopkins and Hannah Price who also added instruments to their performances.

Harry Boyd managed to narrate the story in a variety of guises from Buddy’s management to the executives who both hindered and helped Holly's rise to fame.

The show also features Josh Haberfield as Jerry Alison and a slender Ben Pryer, who got the party rocking as Richie Valens and great version of his main hit La Bamba.

Where other musicals rely on over complex staging, Buddy focuses purely on the music and the talent of its cast. With all of the actors playing practically everything live, there is a genuine feel of originality.

Buddy Holly may have a had a short career but it seems that not only will his music live on, but this show about him will too, as it rises above simple nostalgia, minimises the drama of his life and puts his music out front in the spotlight.

Being perhaps the only music legend to make his spectacles a deliberate style item, with this show you won’t need rose tinted ones, to appreciate the joy Buddy’s music continues to bring his audiences. To 07-03-20

Jeff Grant


30 years in numbers

Since opening at the Theatre Royal Plymouth, in August 1989, Buddy has played 556 weeks (4,450 performances) on tour in the U.K., and 728 weeks (5822 performances) in London’s West End – for a total of 10,272 U.K. performances!

In total our Buddy Hollys have sung 17 songs 264,346 times

186,000 guitar strings have been replaced (92 miles) and more than 212,000 plectrums used

3,320 pairs of trousers have had to be replaced – due to Buddy knee sliding across stages throughout the world – and 410 pairs of glasses

Over 33 tons of washing powder have been used by our Wardrobe Mistresses/Masters, as well as more than 2,750 gallons of fabric conditioner

150,000 feet (28.41 miles) of guitar cable have been used and 3,038,785 radio mic batteries replaced.

The trucks that are used to transport the show from venue to venue have now travelled approximately five-and-three-quarter times around the world!

The performers have drunk over 104,000 gallons of bottled water. (The beer intake has never been monitored!)

Throughout the world 12 couples have met and married while working in the company and there have been 26 Buddy babies!

Extended runs and tours have included London, UK tours, Broadway, US tours, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Reno, Canada, Toronto, British Columbia, Australia, Sydney, New Zealand, Germany, Hamburg, South Africa, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Ireland, Japan, and Singapore

Buddy ran in the West End for over 14 years – playing the Victoria Palace, Strand (now Novello), and Duchess Theatres – making it the 10th longest running musical and 14th longest running show in West End history! 

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