In just 18 short months between 1957 and 1959 Buddy Holly changed the face of modern music, producing in the process a treasure trove of rock and roll classics that have become the soundtrack of following generations.
Written by Alan Janes, Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story opened at London Victoria Palace theatre in 1989 and by many it is considered to be the first Jukebox musical.
All the actors perform live on stage in a nostalgic performance of Buddy Holly’s songs. With very little narrative the show is mainly a musical performance, but what it lacks in detail it makes up for in music, fun and an easy to follow storyline.
Christopher Weeks interpretation of Buddy Holly was first rate, with top form performances from him and Reuben Greef & Tom Dunlea as ‘The Crickets’ (Joe B Mauldin and Jerry Allison). Every piece was like being at a Buddy Holly recital and it would not have surprised me if women in mini-skirts came running down the aisle.
Brookside Theatre did not let the audience down when it came to the moment we’d all been waiting for, with Big Bopper (Jai Sepple) and Callum John Hill (Richie Valens) joining Buddy on stage for the major plane moment. It certainly felt like a crashing moment in the night as the room goes from dancing to silence.
Ultimately, what kept me enthralled throughout the evening was the music. The spirit and the magic of Buddy’s music comes off the stage in waves and you really cannot help but be taken aback by its beauty and it really makes you realize Don McClean got it right with his line in American Pie when he called Buddy’s Death ‘The Day the Music Died’.
Thankfully the legacy and music of Buddy continues
The Buddy Holly Story runs at The Brookside Theatre Romford until Saturday the 7th July 2018