Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story at the Royal & Derngate Northampton Review

9-14 September 2019

Reviewed by Alex and Charlotte Wiggins

Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story is what you would call a jukebox musical, written by Alan Janes. The general plot is about the life of Buddy Holly and The Crickets displayed in the form of half musical/ half concert!

The set was basic, but completely right for the show and made sure you focused entirely on the music. There were a few little technical issues at the beginning but nothing too distracting. I have so much respect for actor-musicians as they don’t just have the ability to sing, dance and act but also use their instruments to tell a story.

Christopher Weeks played Buddy Holly and he didn’t disappoint. He had an amazing tone to his voice that resembled Buddy so well and he kept the audience engaged with his performance. The Crickets were played by Josh Haberfield, Joe Butcher and AJ Jenks. These three were incredibly talented musicians who also performed amazing harmonies and complement Buddy’s character so well. My personal favourite were the tricks on the double bass!

Harry Boyd played various characters throughout his performance and basically narrated the story. His change between characters was amazing and he definitely carried the show creating a buzz with the audience.

Not forgetting The Snowbirds played by Cartier Fraser, Rhiannon Hopkins, Sasha Latoya and Hannah Price. Their harmonies were superb and had brilliant characterisation. Hannah Price also played Maria Elena, who could also play the saxophone amazingly and added some beautiful acting into the performance. Joshua Barton, Ben Pryer and Miguel Angel all portrayed entertaining roles with incredible vocals as The Big Bopper, Ritchie Valens and Tyrone Jones.

Finally, the powerhouse duet was performed by Cartier Fraser and Sasha Latoya, who played Chantel Williams and Marlena Madison. These girls completely rocked their song and the vocals from them were insane.

Altogether this musical was a beautiful tribute to Buddy Holly’s life and music, with songs including Peggy Sue, That’ll Be The Day, Oh, Boy!, Rave On, La Bamba, Chantilly Lace, Johnny B Goode, Raining In My Heart, Everyday, Shout and lots more. The audience were all on their feet dancing at the end and the show was filled with audience participation. I would highly recommend Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story to fans of Buddy but also people who don’t know his story, as I didn’t but completely enjoyed the concept.

Rating: 5/5

Tickets cost from £11 (booking fees may apply).

Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story is at the Royal & Derngate in Northampton from 9-14 September 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit or call the box office on 01604 624811.

Royal & Derngate, Guildhall Road, Northampton, NN1 1DP | 01604 624811

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