REVIEW: Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story

Top-tapping, thigh-slapping and hand-clapping began at curtain up and proceeded throughout the two hour stomp that is smash hit rock’n’roll musical, Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story, writes Paloma Lacy.

What a way to spend a Monday night – Oh Boy! Celebrating its 30th anniversary with a UK tour for the remainder of 2019 and into 2020, try not to miss the Croydon shows this week as the company won’t be back in South London, until playing at Bromley next June.

Familiarity with the plot, having first seen it in the early 1990s during its West End run, made it nonetheless captivating.

Charting the story of the boy from Lubbock, Texas, as he faces rejection from record companies determined not to let him and his friends, the famed Crickets, play their music, their way, they finally find a producer willing to help them take rock’n’roll to the masses, as they take the audience through over 20 hits, including Peggy-Sue, That’ll Be The Day, Every Day and Rave On.

The boys make their way to the Big Apple, where Buddy is captivated by the charms of record company secretary Maria-Elena, cue a speedy marriage and a reason for him to write True Love Ways.

Buddy Holly Story


A beautiful trot through that most iconic period of Americana, the show takes you on a roller-coaster of an emotional journey, peppered with so many highs before the inevitable low.

The highs of the musical score literally had the audience rocking in the aisles, as the audience sang along to each and every word of a magical period of music that’s never been forgotten.

The impact of Buddy Holly and the Crickets on global music is phenomenal, influencing everyone from Bob Dylan and The Beatles to Elton John and Bruce Springsteen.

Buddy Holly & the Crickets’ stratospheric rise to fame in just 18 months is beautifully documented, before the tragic events of that fateful night, February 3, 1959.

Desperate to get home after the Winter Dance Party sees Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Richie Valens charter a plane, with catastrophic results.

In the words of Don McLean, “the day the music died.”

This production is nothing short of West End standard, with its multi-talented group of actor- instrumentalists, including Christopher Weeks and AJ Jenks (who alternate the role of Buddy Holly) Jordan Alexander, Miguel Angel, Joshua Barton, Harry Boyd, Joe Butcher, Cartier Fraser, Josh Haberfield, Rhiannon Hopkins, Sasha Latoya, Hannah Price and Ben Pryer. Buddy has stood the test of time.

The show has inspired a generation of multi-million selling jukebox musicals, including Mamma Mia, We Will Rock You, and Jersey Boys, yet remains a true original and musical phenomenon.

Tickets start from £15 at the Ashcroft Playhouse, Fairfield Halls, Park Lane, Croydon, CR9 1DG. Showing until November 16.
To book tickets, go to or call 0203 292 0001

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