Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story, Theatre Royal, Bath Review

One of the most enduring smash hit musicals of all time, Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story is touring again. Scooping box office success both on Broadway and in the West End (there for an amazing fourteen years) it’s entertained thousands of happy theatre goers with the poignant story of Buddy Holly who made an enviable catalogue of music but tragically lost his life far too soon at the tender age of twenty-two. His legacy lives on and this cast of multi-talented actors and musicians see to it that no magic is lost in the reproduction of his classics.

Legend surrounds the show and there are some marvellous statistics available compiled since it began in 1989; to date throughout the world thirteen couples have met and married whilst working in the company, 3,326 pairs of Buddy’s trousers have been replaced (due to Buddy’s famous knee-slide across the stage), together with 414 pairs of glasses, and in total the show’s Buddy Hollys have sung 17 songs 266,794 times which adds up to a whole lot of rock and roll!

Of course, we loved it and came prepared to dance in the aisles, sing along and behave like teenagers again. What’s not to like about a great production that showcases all your favourite songs and tells a good story. AJ Jenks was the embodiment of Buddy himself sporting the trademark glasses as if they were his own and living up to the rock and roll legend. Miguel Angel gave a great performance as both Ritchie Valens and Tyrone Jones and his take on Reet Petite was terrific. Christopher Chandler was electric as The Big Bopper – love the leopard skin jacket with gold lapels – and Thomas Mitchells made us laugh as the MC at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake where Buddy’s last ever performance was held.

Wonderful harmonies and punchy vocals from the Snowbirds; Laura-Dene Perryman, Stephanie Cremona, Samuelle Durojaiye and Daniella Agredo Piper and the ultimate feel-good factor left us wanting more; it’s a great show for pure enjoyment and one not to be missed.

Jacquie Vowles


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