If you fancy a quiet night at the theatre this week, avoid Cardiff’s New Theatre. If you’re in the mood for an infectiously energetic feast of rock ‘n’ roll, book your tickets now!
Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story opened tonight [Tuesday July 4], telling the story of Charles Hardin Holley, from Lubbock, Texas, whose all-too-brief career produced some of popular music’s most enduring songs, and continues to influencing rock and pop almost 60 years after his death.
The show is a high-volume foot-tapping, hand-clapping tribute to Holly (he changed the spelling because of an error on a contract), and fellow performers The Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens, who died with him in a plane crash in 1959.
It features more than 20 of his hits, including Peggy Sue, Oh Boy, True Love Ways, and Rave On, and culminates with a recreation of his final show (along with the Bopper and Valens) at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa. He died later that night, aged just 22.
Alex Fobbester delivers a remarkable performance as Buddy, and is rarely off stage – demonstrating his talents as a singer, guitarist, and actor, with the stamina of a marathon runner.
There’s an amazing cast supporting him – versatile musicians, singers, actors, and dancers, who (and this is my only criticism) don’t get the credit they deserve.
Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story plays at Cardiff’s New Theatre until Saturday 8 July 2017. Tuesday – Friday at 7.30pm plus Wednesday & Thursday at 2.30pm and Saturday at 4pm & 8pm. Tickets are from £10.50 – £33.00*. For further details and to book tickets visit newtheatrecardiff.co.uk or call the box office on (029) 2087 8889. *Bookings are subject to a ticketing service charge (exemptions apply).
Review by Andrew Weltch