Last night I attended the press night of The Buddy Holly Story at the Theatre Royal Brighton! Seen by over 22 million people worldwide, the show is classed as one of the most successful rock and roll musicals of all time and I can see why! The show received a very well deserved standing ovation, and I honestly thought the person in front of me’s chair was going to break where they were kind of dancing and bopping in their chair!
I went into the theatre thinking I didn’t particularly know any of the songs . . . but to my surprise I knew a good few and recognised most of them! ‘Heartbeat’ being one of the songs I didn’t realise Buddy sang! You must remember this song from the ITV police drama ‘Heartbeat’ (which I used to love and miss dearly! Was axed in 2010 . .) Buddy was also joined on stage with Ritchie Valens who sang the legendary La Bamba and also The Big Bopper.
I took my parents for their 35th Wedding Anniversary and they absolutely loved it! Being of the older generation they could appreciate the songs a bit more than me, but I really enjoyed myself and the songs which were performed.
If you’re a Buddy Holly fan you will know that on February 3rd 1959 his life was cut short at the age of only 22 when the plane he was on with fellow rock n rollers Ritchie Valens (17) & The Big Bopper (28) crashed into a cornfield killing all passengers and pilot Roger Peterson. I can’t believe at the age of 22 just how many classic songs he had released! February 3rd 1959 is now known as ‘The Day the Music Died’
Buddy was played by Alex Fobbester who made his professional debut in 2014 in ‘Elf the Musical’ amazing to think his debut was only 3 years ago and he’s now landed the lead role in this show which is an amazing feat and very well deserved as his performance was excellent! The songs just kept coming . . you definitely get your monies worth as when you think it’s going to end he jumps back on stage with another classic!
I can’t talk about The Buddy Holly Story without mentioning the ‘The Crickets’ which consisted of Jerry Allison (played by Josh Haberfield) and Joe B. Mauldin (played by Joe Butcher) who were Buddy’s band/back up before he went solo. Both actors were fantastic musicians and really glued the performances together.
As I said the show also features Ritchie Valens (played by Jordan Cunningham) & The Big Bopper (played by Thomas Mitchells) who were fantastic! Cunningham became a body rocking machine and Mitchells looked like he was loving life up there on stage! Both also provided vocals in other ways during the show.
Also I need to give a special mention to Matthew Quinn who was hilarious when he played the compère at the Surf Ballroom, everyone was in fits of laugher and he interacted with the crowd with was nice!
So if you’re a fan of Buddy Holly, or Rock n Roll in general then I highly suggest you get your tickets for this show, which features 2 hours of some of the greatest songs ever written, including That’ll Be The Day, Oh Boy, Rave On, La Bamba, Chantilly Lace, Johnny B. Goode, Raining In My Heart, Every day, Shout and many many more!
The Buddy Holly Story is at the Theatre Royal Brighton until Saturday 10th June 2017, with shows every evening at 7:45pm and 2 matinees Thurs/Sat at 2.30pm. Before moving onto the Richmond Theatre in London 27th June – 1st July 2017.