Buddy the Musical

This show has now closed, click here for a listing of current and future London shows

Previewed 5 October 1989, Opened 12 October 1989, Closed 30 September 1995 at the Victoria Palace Theatre
Transferred 7 October 1995, Closed 3 March 2002 at the
Novello Theatre
Previewed 3 August 2007, Opened 7 August 2007, Closed 7 February 2009 at the
Duchess Theatre in London

It's Back - Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story Thhis legendary stage musical has had audiences on their feet in every corner of the globe and now Buddy the Musical - hailed as "the world's most successful Rock'n'Roll musical" is back and ready to explode on to the stage of The Duchess Theatre in London in a toe-tapping, hand-clapping extravaganza! The Man ... The Music ... The Legend

Buddy the Musical follows the tragically short life of Buddy Holly from his first recording contract through to his move to New York and concludes with his fatal tour of Midwest America with Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper when - on 3 February 1959 he was tragically killed aged just 22. The musical shows Buddy as he sings his way from the recording studio in Nashville, Tennessee to Harlem's Apollo Theatre, culminating in a live rock'n'roll extravaganza at the 'Winter Dance Party' finale and features some of Buddy Holly's greatest hits including That'll Be The Day, Peggy Sue, Oh Boy, Rave On, Heartbeat, Raining In My Heart and many more.

The cast for Buddy the Musical in London includes Dean Elliott as 'Buddy' (at certain performances), Matthew Wycliffe as 'Buddy' (at certain performances), Lucia Rovardi as 'Maria Elena', Miguel Angel as 'Richie Valens' and Lee Ormsby as 'Big Bopper'. Casting subject to change.

Buddy originally opened at the Victoria Palace Theatre in London on 12 October 1989 (following previews from 5 October 1989), moving to the Strand Theatre (now called Novello Theatre) in October 1995 where it continued until it closed in March 2002 after a total of 5,140 performances! The show has also extensively toured both in the UK and around the world and was hailed as being "the No.1 show nationwide" by The Times in August 2006. Devised by Francis Essex and Rob Bettinson who's West End credits include the music-bio Jolson.

"Buddy the musical still feels as fresh and revitalising as Holly's music itself. The reasons are simple... Buddy is more than just elaborate karaoke... at its core is a sweet and sad true story. Inevitably, what buoys it up are the songs. Not only are the lyrics burned on millions of brains worldwide, they aren't as soppy or trashy as you may recall. But musical pedigree would count for nothing were it not for the energy and vitality of the cavorting young cast... the whole company dazzles." The Daily Mail (August 2007)

"Buddy has been running for 18 years, has been seen by more than 20 million people and has now taken up residence at London's Duchess Theatre a venue which pulsates under the enthusiasm and energy of the show's talented musicians... It's obvious this is a gem of a musical and one which is surprisingly intimate, due to the small stage... It showcases all the classics, including Heartbeat, Oh Boy and Maybe Baby, by re-enacting some of Buddy's most high-profile concerts, culminating in his last-ever show in Clear Lake, Iowa. The Butlins-esque warm-up is cheesy but the performances are high-octane and infectious and include numbers by Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper... Nostalgic Buddy fans can't fail to love it." The Daily Express (August 2007)

"The show that I have somehow missed in its previous incarnations proves ludicrously enjoyable... Holly's back catalogue - awesome if anyone had produced it, downright miraculous in someone who died at the age of 22 - remains an utter joy... and it is splendidly performed here, with many of the songs actually sounding more robust than the sometimes thin 1950s recordings... Buddy Holly's magnificent music undoubtedly ensures that you leave with a smile on your face and a spring in your step." The Daily Telegraph (September 2007)

The musical Buddy in London at the Duchess Theatre previewed from 3 August 2007, opened on 7 August 2007 and closed on 7 February 2009