THEATRE REVIEWS - Buddy

Buddy at Manchester Opera House
Buddy at Manchester Opera House

SOME say that the music died on February 3 1959 when Buddy Holly died in a plane crash.

Thankfully, Buddy’s iconic, unique music was all created within a short 18 months spell and is alive now as in those heady 1950s days.

Had he survived, glasses-boy Buddy would be 77. But a bad aviation decision on a blindly snowy night robbed us of the brightest of stars.

The Buddy Holly Show at the Opera House proved, if proof was necessary, that those long-ago fans have been loyal to Mr Holly. They loved his music when it first hit the pop charts and they still love it now.

For fans and those who love a certain kind of pop music, this show is brought to life by a large and superbly talented cast who tell of Buddy’s rise to world fame at break-neck speed.

The show- billed as the 25th anniversary production - had amazing pop energy and playing Buddy, Roger Rowley, looked, sounded, sang and danced like the late great star.

Hit after hit had the audience throbbing with nostalgic delight and included Peggy Sue, Think it Over, Words of Love, Maybe Baby, It’s So Easy, Rave on and Everyday and so many more.

Buddy Holly and the Crickets story was interwoven into the show – his break up with the Crickets, his marriage to Marie Elena and his tragic death along with two other stars, The Big Bopper and Ricky Valens (Jason Blackwater and Will Pearce).

Towards the end of the show, when a radio announcement tells of stars’ deaths, the curtain falls and a spotlight settles on a guitar. The feeling of sadness,was, for some, overwhelming.

But then the music lives again and the finale was noisy happy and brought the whole audience to his feet.

Buddy is on until Feb 8 at the Opera House, Manchester.