Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story 23-28 June

Back to celebrate 25 years on the stage Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story has embarked on a UK tour. Over the 25 years there have been 20,500 performances seeing 185,000 guitar strings replaced and over 203,00 plectrums used. Most importantly 40 pairs of Buddy's defining glasses. 

The cast rocks some of Buddy Holly's most well known hits such as That'll Be The Day, Peggy Sue, Oh Boy and Rave On. 

Buddy follows the short yet memorable career of Buddy Holly who paved the way for the future of Rock 'n' Roll. The audience follows his unsteady rise to fame all the way to his famous final performance at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa before his tragic death at the young age of 22. Although his career only lasted 18 months, it has been continuously echoed and been paid tribute to by huge stars ever since. 

 The role of Buddy is shared between Glen Joseph and Roger Rowley. Glen Joseph is such a rock star, commanding the attention of the audience even once the show has finished. A flawless Buddy highlighting the unconventional youthful geekiness of Holly with the larger than life talent.

Buddy is joined by two other iconic Rock 'n' Roll musicians The Big Bopper played by Jason Blackwater and Ritiche Valens played by Will Pearce both have such powerful stage presence and despite having been born about 40 years later I was easily whisked back to 1959. 

 Maria Elena, Buddy's wife played by Viviene Smith is the sweet young bride who despite only knowing her husband for a matter of hours shows her utmost loyalty to him. Even today the real Maria Elena stands behind this production. 

The Crickets Joe played by Scott Haining and Jerry played by Adam Flynn nicely complemented Buddy as they matched his lovable geekiness but tremendous musical talent.

The Two Apollo performers Lydia Fraser and Miguel Angel give an extraordinary rendition of the famous song Shout. I definitely spotted audience members dancing along.

The two managers we meet in the show  Hipockets Duncan played by Shaun Hennessy and Norman Petty played by Peter Kenworthy contrasted each other quite nicely. Hipockets plays by the rules and gives his listeners good clean country music. Petty on the other hand, gives Buddy the creative freedom that paved the way for his stardom.

Vi Petty played by Sarah Mahony is the perfect wife. She's always got the coffee ready but also steps in to add an extra little touch to The Crickets' music.

Equally Jackdaw played by Alex Marshall was a great addition to The Crickets, helping make their music even greater.

The upbeat atmosphere on stage seeped into the audience as memories appeared to flood back and audience members were joining in with the well known songs and dancing and clapping the whole way through. It really gives a show credit when the audience feels they can join in and be part of the show rather than sat quietly and clap politely after each song. 

Even though my knowledge of 50s Rock 'n' Roll is quite limited I was on my feet at the end too. 

Buddy is only on at the Hippodrome for a limited period so click here to get your tickets now!

Alternatively if you are not in Birmingham click here to find out when Buddy is coming to your city!

Check out the trailer!

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