Writer: Alan Janes
Director: Matt Salisbury
Reviewer: Elizabeth Vile
Full of enthusiasm, joy, passion and affection the musicalBuddyhas all the ingredients for a fun packed night out and it does not disappoint. The fact that this is a review of the 25thAnniversary production says it all about the production’s continuous audience appeal and quality.
The show charts the rise and rise of Buddy Holly from his humble roots in Lubbock, Texas to London, to New York and finally to Iowa on the night before his fateful plane crash. The traditional story of small town boy made good through his passion for music and determination is explored in a bubbly and tender way, while lacing in all of his best hit songs as well as a few from other musicians of the time.
The set was innovatively used, mixing projection, curtains, flats and props well so that the show was a slick and well paced piece that clearly showed the different places that Buddy went to during his short but explosive career.
Glen Joseph as Buddy steals the show by mixing innocence and youth with a steely determination. The audience fall in love with this young and naïve character from the moment he steps on stage. Joseph’s voice and mannerisms are spot on and he kept the audience enthralled during the mountain of songs he was given to sing. He is ably supported by an ensemble that sing, dance, act and play instruments in a brilliantly engaging way. The three female singers (Sarah Mahony, Lydia Fraser and Vivienne Smith) added strong vocals throughout and their harmony work was beautiful.
Although the story wasn’t as developed as it could have been the piece really brought out the joy that Buddy Holly and the Crickets brought to people through their music, as well as celebrating his life. Although the sadness of his tragically brief life can not be ignored the production did not dwell on this event. This production is a true celebratory performance that gives audiences the opportunity to enjoy the groundbreaking songs of Buddy Holly as well as learning about the man behind the glasses.
Image © 2013 Buddy Worldwide Limited |Runs until 31stMay then on tour until 16thAugust