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Buddy: The Buddy Holly Musical

Waterside Aylesbury 

Runs until Saturday 13th May.


Four Stars “The feel-good hits keep raining down.” ****



A solid touring favourite for many a year and an effective trailblazer of the jukebox genre. It may be an early example of the style but there is good reason for its popularity and for why it managed an amazing twelve year run in the West End. Written over two acts by Alan Janes it features the hits and the story of Buddy Holly. In truth the narrative plays second fiddle and is relatively condensed in content, a snapshot on a sadly curtailed short life. It is the energy and charisma of a hugely talented company plus the feel-good hits of Holly that keeps us all smiling and rolling along. The role of Buddy Holly is understandably alternated between a couple of performers, for us at the Waterside, Christopher Weeks grabbed the guitar and oversized glasses and gave an outstanding performance, holding the show with an optimistic and endearing style as well as delivering the Buddy sound and moves with great care, swagger, and technique. That passion and depth together with a flash of humour is not an easy recipe to mix but Weeks does it with an enviable ease whether tackling the more poignant True Love Ways or rocking it out to Oh Boy!”

Holly and his loyal bunch of Crickets ease away from the chains of country and western and via an eye-opening night on the stage of The Apollo Harlem they strike a deal with a   larger-than-life rock and roll producer who spots the talent and is keen to help, promote and take a share of that said deal. And after been given a nod Buddy and the boys are allowed to play the way they know and love and are keen to share with the American public.  This they do with huge success, and a string of top of the chart hits swiftly follows, as does his unique sound and worldwide fame and all before he was 22. We remain grateful to this day for his writing talent, producing some of the standards of the era that are still thankfully the staple of many a radio station Heartbeat, That’ll be the Day, Raining in my Heart and Peggy Sue.”

The production values have no doubt lapsed a little since its heyday at the Victoria Palace, copious doubling of characters and a set that had the look of simplicity and styled for easy packing. Not only were the company buzzing with energy particularly with the non-stop finale, but they could turn their hands to at least one instrument each.

The second half takes off at a canter, more of a concert and much less dialogue, culminating in brilliant turns at a 1959 Winter Dance Party in 1959, headlined by Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper and Buddy himself. Miguel Angel and Christopher Chandler excel and have a big slice of fun as Richie and The Bopper respectively. The three stars were killed in a tragic airplane crash in snowstorm following the concert.

Prior to the tragedy it’s party time and the fun and the indeed the songs are equally infectious.

Join the party and have some fun while you can. It runs until Saturday at the Waterside.

Buddy 2 Christopher Weeks - please credit _Hamish Gill f8creates_.jpg

Credit: Hamish Gill 

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