“ Strand Theatre, Aldwych, WC2. Tel: +44 (0)20 7930 8800. Nearest tube: Charing Cross (tube/rail). „
There has been a real trend with musicals recently in using a performer or band's music and adapting it to a musical, namely 'We Will rock You', 'Mamma Mia' and 'Tonight's The Night'.
Buddy is the original of these types of musical but there's no story made up here, this is the story of Buddy Holly's life. The music just works alongside the story perfectly, It's not used to tell it.
Firstly, who do you get to play Buddy? He had such a distinctive sound, the actor has to be able to do that little thing he does with his voice. (ok, thing for want of a better word, but anyone who knows Buddy holly or has seen this will know what I'm talking about!) Now worries this is cast superbly. I've seen the film and the show with two different Buddys all doing him proud. As do the actors who've played Richie Valens and The Big Bopper. Each actor brings some thing different to the Big Bopper but he is certanly my favourite character and gets one of the biggest applauses of the night.
The muscial visually is simple but works, set in the 50s, it would be wrong to have singing and dancing stage sets, it kept to the time and looks great.
The audience are really encouraged to get involved and at one point even brought into the story. At the start of the show you get a leaflet for the Winter Dance Party that Buddy, Richie Valens and The Big Bopper are playing, which features in Act Two of the show so in effect it's like you are at that party. Very clever.
All in all a great show, Buddy Holly's fantastic music is played to perfection and the story is brought to life once again. I hope Buddy lives on for a long time to come. This is one of those shows you could enjoy again and again.
Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story is a musical about the life of the pop musician, Buddy Holly. The biographical detail is fairly minimal, being instead a showcase of Holly's music.
In a nutshell, the story begins in 1955 with a 19 year old Buddy starting out on a successful career as a Country and Western musician. He has his own ideas about the path his career should take, favouring the racier Rock and Roll that is beginning to emerge.
Feeling unsupported by his record label, Holly signs a contract with another. From this point, exciting and original hits like 'Peggy Sue' are written and recorded. Buddy Holly and the Crickets become a phenomenon with a unique and appealing sound. This leads to an interesting scene at the Apollo Theatre in Halem, which is both funny and heart-warming.
It is this humour and warmth that set Buddy apart from shows such as Fame. Yes, the music, mostly but not entirely from Buddy Holly, is the driving force of the show, but there is an underlying wit and intelligence.
The second act sees success bring problems for Buddy and the Crickets. The likeable and driven musician appears increasingly frustrated, making bizarre decisions, although the hits keep coming. The ending is as predictable as Titanic but, having had two hours of wonderful music, humour and energy the abrupt and tragic end to Buddy's life leaves a lasting impression.
Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story debuted in the West End in 1989 and ran for 12 years. Following an absence, it returned in 2007 to the Duchess Theatre. It is one of the best family shows, appealing to the X Factor generation and those who love energetic musicals like Dirty Dancing. It has a wider appeal than some shows given the nostalgia element, and the way it is handled with affection but without undue sentimentality.
I saw this show at the peak of teenage cynicism, and was unfamiliar with Buddy Holly's music, at least by name. I loved it, carried along by the timeless vibrancy of his music. If you're a fan of Holly's music, you'll love its replication; if you're not a fan, you will be by the end.
There are simple but powerful messages contained in the plot: hard work really does pay off, and music is a great medium to bring cultures and social groups together. These themes are not laboured, they just exist in the background of the narrative, further adding to the feel-good effect of the show.
This is definitely a family show, in the same category as Hairspray. Like Jersey Boys, the musical is based on real events with virtually all the music being that of the central characters - in fact it was Buddy that spawned this form of musical theatre. There is also the additional poignancy of its portrayal Buddy and his band, their aspirations, successes and ultimately, their tragedy. I recommend it to you!
---------- Information ----------
(taken from the official website)
THE SHOW IS SCHEDULED TO CLOSE ON 7th FEBRUARY 2009
Full ticket prices: £60, £45, £40, £25
SPECIAL OFFER from 3rd November to 23rd December
Buddy tickets reduced from £60.00 to £33.50
Offer valid Mon-Fri
Buddy tickets reduced from £65.00 to £22.50
Offer valid Thu Matinee
Buddy tickets reduced from £65.00 to £40.00
Offer valid Sat Matinee
OFFER STRICTLY SUBJECT TO AVAILABILTY
HAPPY BIRTHDAY BUDDY!
The 9000th Performance of Buddy will take place on the 2nd December. Book now!
Running time: 2h30mins
Nearest Tube Station: Covent Garden
I booked my ticket, at a bargain price. So I was already happy to see buddy. It is based at the duchess theatre, near charing cross.The story goes from when buddy first started out to his untimely death in a plane crash with the big bopper who's hits included chantilly lace. and richie valens who is well know for his hit la Bamba. The actors in the performance were excellent, they made the whole story come to life and the vocals were brilliant. It got the whole of the theatre bopping, bringing a vibrant atmosphere in the theatre. It was amazing how the actor who played buddy sang the songs all the way through the performance so brilliantly. Some of the songs that are included in the performance are peggy sue and that'll be the day. those two were my personal favouites. I would definately recommend this to everyone. It was brilliant.
I took my dad to see this and it was excellent. You just could NOT stop your feet from tapping or your whole body just wanting to get up and dance. People were dancing in the aisles, really. This is just such an energetic show - the cast put heart and soul into it, and you really get to feel as though you are there witnessing Buddy Holly's life. You begin to see him less as a rock star who died in the fifties (although that was a big part of his life) but you get to understand some of the real person too. If you have teens who you want to get into liking musicals - this could be the one for you to take them to. Everything about it is excellent ... the songs actually sound as though they are being sung by the originals ... and all of the main characters are just so realistic! Buddy Holly, himself, is played by two or three young men who take turns doing a show apparently. you can understand why, it would be too much for one person to keep up the hectic schedule of performing at each and every show. This brought back lots of memories for me. I can remember my dad teaching me to jive when I was about four or five years old. The song he played? Buddy Holly's "Peggy Sue", and it was on a 45rpm. Wow. Ancient history now. This is very much audience participation - if you know the words you can't help but just sing along with the cast. This was an absolutely BRILLIANT night out!
One of the less well known London shows, Buddy is still a great night out. Featuring many of Buddy Holly's hits, it is bound to get you dancing in the aisles. The story of Buddy Holly itself is not particularly interesting - it is certainly the music and audience participation which creates a brilliant atmosphere in the theatre which sends you home with a real 'feel good factor.' This show is relatively easy to get tickets for,though you will still probably have to book in advance.
Buddy is a musical based on the life of Buddy Holly. I went to see this show as tickets came up for £12.50 thanks to lastminute.com it was not a show that I would have considered paying full price for. What a mistake I would have made missing it, although vaugely familar with the story ( it was before my time), the music is eternal. The audience consisted of every age group from 7 yr old to 90's. The show is very pro active & the teens were the first to start the dancing. The cast were very powerfull & the singing was superb.I now know why some people return again & again I certainly will! The thetare is situated not far from Covent garden, although small was packed out. If you are looking for a good night out Go see this show.
I went to see Buddy last October, despite being very dubious about going as I don't particularly enjoy Rock n Roll music and I know very little about the life of Buddy Holly. However, I was pleasantly surprised as the music was lively and got you tapping your feet and dancing and I had a thoroughly enjoyable evening out. Although this is by no means the best West End musical that I have seen, it is certainly worth going to see. The tickets are relatively cheap and very easy to get hold of, even if you just turn up on the night. This performance got a standing ovation and the audience clamoured for an encore when I went to see it. The encore was given amidst more dancing in the aisles!! I would recommend going to see this show, if only for the great music. My main criticism with it is that the story of Buddy Holly's life is not earth-shatteringly interesting but the music makes up for it.
If you like Buddy Holly or music of that era than this is definately for you. Even if you just like great rock and roll music then go and see it. If not then perhaps its not for you, because the story is basically just Buddy Holly's life and all the songs that made him famous. Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper are featured too as they also died on the plane that killed Buddy Holly, and a few of their songs are sung too. Because the story is a true one I think you really have to be at least half interested in Buddy Holly to enjoy this as the story may not hold your attention otherwise. When I saw it (about 5 years ago) Chip Esten played Buddy and was extremely good as were the other actors and I would recommend seeing it.