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BrumHour is invited to review productions at The Alexandra throughout the year.
For Interval Theatre on Brum Radio, Dave Massey spoke to AJ Jenks playing Buddy Holly in Buddy, The Buddy Holly Story. Listen here:
By Dave Massey twitter.com/BrumHour
This production explores themes of discrimination, death and features mild swearing and audience participation.
Buddy The Buddy Holly Story at
Directed by Matt Salisbury and written by Alan Janes
The short life of Buddy Holly is brought to life for the 30th anniversary tour of this production of Buddy The Buddy Holly Story.
Part concert, part story about Buddy Holly and the Crickets rise to fame, we see Buddy carve out his own sound as he helped rock and roll explode across the USA.
I first saw this production of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story as a student journalist in 1998 at The Alexandra and whilst I remembered a lot of the second half there were fuzzy gaps with my memory of the first half.
There are still the social issues of the time to consider, Buddy and his distinctly white band get a roasting treatment from the black community in Harlem, New York. Much to his mother’s shock, Buddy gets engaged to his Puerto Rican wife Maria Elena on their first date and in the early days of his music recording he works hard to create his brand which includes his distinctive glasses.
These are all really plot points about his life to hang the real purpose of the show: celebrating his life with his own music and the music of the time.
Peggy Sue, Heartbeat, Reet Petite, Raining in my heart, La Bamba and That’ll be the Day are just some of the twenty-five plus tracks listed in the programme.
AJ Jenks shines as trailblazer Buddy with smooth vocals and a confident style, Harry Boyd plays different roles throughout as he charmingly helps narrate Buddy’s life. This is a tight company having a great time and that feeling is infectious.
The set consists of dividing walls with rectangular blocks of pastel colours, hanging bunched curtains and a projection screen hinting at locations. The costumes fully evoke the 1950s and Buddy even has iron lines on the centre of his jeans!
Fresh, fun and full of energy, I loved revisiting this production after twenty-three years. Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story is at The Alexandra until 7th March. Book tickets with BrumHour’s affiliate link >> HERE <<.
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When not writing about theatre for BrumHour, or producing Interval Theatre for Brum Radio (Tuesdays 3pm) brumradio.com/intervaltheatre,
Dave Massey can be found eating crisps and tweeting about Birmingham for #BrumHour.