Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story

Belgrade Theatre, Coventry


THE story is probably well known – but this is far from a gloomy commemoration, more an energetic celebration of the man, his friends and their music.

For a start, there were some cracking musicians on that stage. Buddy, christened Charles Haldin Holly, played by Glen Joseph (Alex Fobbester at other performances) and his immense talent and legacy have informed Rock and Roll and the live music presented in this show shows the breadth of his talent and the fight to bring ‘his kind of music played his way’.  

His friends, the Crickets (Joe Butcher) and Jerry (Josh Haberfield - an exceptional drummer), start off in Lubbock, Texas where Country is King and their first big break with Decca Records in Nashville comes to a gory and speedy end, where the kind of music they play, Rock and Roll, is a step too far.

But signing with the broad-minded Norman Petty (Alex Tosh) in New Mexico, who also looked after Roy Orbison, was the next and best step. Together success was assured and hits followed one after another – all well known.

The music used in the show from That’ll be the Day through Peggy Sue to Johnny B Goode was wonderful. The lovely, gentle and quiet Everyday with Vi Petty (Celia Cruwys-Finnigan) on the celeste started a quiet hum in the audience that grew into unexpected audience participation and was gorgeous. When the audience joined in with Raining in my Heart we knew the words better than Buddy!

A scene that was glorious featured The Flames (Miguel Angel and Jordan Cunningham) at the Harlem Apollo where, in the days of segregation of the late 50s, a white band could have had a really hard time but it went well.

Later, when Buddy had split from The Crickets to spend more time with his new bride Maria Elena (Kerry Low), the Winter Dance scene with The Big Bopper (Thomas Mitchells) and Richie Valens (Jordan Cunningham) was high-energy, foot-tapping brilliance and one chap in the audience just had to get out of his seat and do some high-energy dance moves.

One last thing, I really enjoyed and so did the rest of the audience, the Compere at Clearlake (Matthew Quinn), absolutely hysterical take-off of Red Coat entertainer and a joy to watch. Directed by Matt Salisbury, Buddy runs to 15-10-16

Jane Howard


Buddy continue its UK tour and will be at Wolverhampton Grand 31 Jan-4 Feb, 2017 and The New Alexandra Theatre 28 March – 1 April, 2017  


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