The Orchard Theatre in Dartford was left cheering when Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story rolled into town. The story tells the life of musical legend Buddy Holly from his rise to fame, until the unfortunate events that resulted in his death.
The show takes the audience back to the 1950’s where Holly wanted to pursue new things and to push boundaries in the music world – with him doing just that. In the main this production was great, with Glen Joseph playing Buddy. It was clear to see he thoroughly enjoys playing the character and with his high energy throughout the show until the very end note being played – this came across well and added to the enjoyment of the show.
Joseph continually wowed the audience with hit after hit and plays both the rock and roll style as well as some more of the sentimental moments with his wife Maria played by Kerry Low.
This production has many talented performers including Buddy’s band who follow him throughout the show and it is this talent that shines through throughout the production.
Whilst the music itself has been placed well, I found the story itself lacking and it took a while to get going. The set is simple which works well however at times this production did appear to lack the punchiness it truly deserved. There also appeared to be a few sound issues on the night with various cast members microphones not being brought in on time, therefore cutting off the initial part of their line. Secondly some of the diction wasn’t clear and at times I found myself not able to clearly hear what was being said.
The finale itself is a fantastic end to celebrate the life of Holly and the volume, energy and power gives this two and a half hour production the mighty ending it deserves. Whilst there is a brief scene in which we hear about the tragic accident in which Holly was killed, it felt out of place and I felt this could have been placed elsewhere, rather than a short scene – it felt cut off from the rest of the show.
Whilst the show was enjoyable, it does have a few cracks which effect the overall quality of this production. Huge congratulations to Glen Joseph who gives a great portrayal of Buddy – however whilst some of the show may appear to lack, the music speaks for itself – which is what the audience enjoyed.
Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story continues on its UK tour. To get yourself tickets, please take a look at the tour website.