REVIEW: Buddy Holly at the Bristol Hippodrome

Gazette Series: Buddy Holly is a toe tapping musical at the Hippodrome Buddy Holly is a toe tapping musical at the Hippodrome

The Buddy Holly Story describes itself as a ‘toe tapping rock ‘n’ roll extravaganza that will have them dancing in the aisles’, and it certainly delivers.

From the very first song of the show, Rose Of Texas, audience members were tapping their feet along to the mellow country vibes, performed brilliantly by Roger Rowley as a very convincing Buddy Holly.

It was clear to see that this was a show fresh from the West End, as the energy from every member of the cast was high, and with consistent American accents and great 1950s style costumes, the audience was truly transported back in time.

The music was excellent throughout, and was a great pleasure to listen to, with stunning three part harmonies and a backing band of very talented musicians.

The fast paced years of Buddy Holly were portrayed well, and the audience were able to witness an insight into his character as well as his music, learning something about each song and what may have inspired him to write it.

The set, designed by Adrian Rees, was an imaginative use of the stage space, which creatively transformed throughout the performance to compliment each significant moment in Buddy Holly’s life.

Buddy Holly tragically died in 1959 at the age of 22, and the musical staged a quiet and poignant moment to mark this, amongst the otherwise upbeat, joyous and often humorous tale.

The Buddy Holly Story transformed the Bristol Hippodrome into a Buddy Holly rock ‘n’ roll concert venue, covering more than 20 of his greatest hits, including the timeless classics That’ll Be The Day, Peggy Sue, Oh Boy and Rave On.

Big Bopper’s Chantilly Lace and Ritchie Valens’ La Bamba complete the stellar musical line-up, and as the show came to a close almost every member of the audience was on their feet.

A show for anyone, as even those who wouldn’t consider themselves a fan of Buddy Holly will feel uplifted and energised after watching this musical.

Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story is on at the Bristol Hippodrome until Saturday, June 7.

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