Monthly Archives: April 2014

Review – Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story

Buddy Review 3 2014

As Buddy started I glanced a crossed to my friend who came with me and grimaced, thinking, “Here we go again, another jukebox musical.”

I’m not afraid to admit that I was wrong in thinking that and I’m still smiling now and dancing inside as I write this review.

Buddy premièred in 1989, running in the West End before going worldwide. It’s now back touring the UK celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary. The Buddy Holly Story is a bio-musical about Buddy Holly’s remarkable three year rise to fame before he was tragically taken from us in 1959 at only 22 years old in a plane crash.

Two actors are currently sharing the role of Buddy. Opening night starred Glen Joseph playing a passionate yet cheeky Buddy. We follow him as he struggles to perform the music he wants to play whilst working for a country music producers, when his heart clearly is with Rock ‘n’ Roll music. I would like to go back and see Roger Rowley playing Buddy – this has to be the best excuse ever to go see a show twice!

During the first half the show goes from strength to strength. The stage really came together and lit up as we were wow’d by Miguel Angel and Lydia Fraser’s duet performance of ‘Shout’ from the Apollo Theatre, New York, bringing that over the top American vibe to the stage. I kept catching myself smiling and after looking around the theatre I wasn’t the only one. The atmosphere was that of a party, people were singing along and dancing in their seats. The lady next to me turned around and apologised for dancing, to which I replied “No, carry on. I actually think you should be up on stage because you’re loving it so much!”

The show featured over 20 of his greatest hits including ‘That’ll Be The Day’, ‘Everyday’, ‘Oh Boy’, ‘Peggy Sue’, ‘Rave On’ and many more. The second half was targeted more to Buddy fans taking you into the rock ‘n’ roll zone leading us in the story to Buddy’s final appearance in the Winter Dance Party with Ritchie Valens performing La Bamba, and Big Bopper’s song Chantilly Lace.

This is possibly the first jukebox musical I have seen that maintains a strong story line, and that can be followed with ease by all Buddy and non Buddy fans.

This is a Buddy fantastic tribute to Buddy Holly. The show is full of passion which can be felt through the electrifying cast and roof-raising music. Judging by the standing ovation and the audiences reaction last night, the music of Buddy Holly clearly lives on.

The Buddy Holly Story is at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre until Saturday 3rd May 2014.

Please visit www.buddythemusical.com for further information and tickets.
KJohnnyW Photography

Review – Dial M for Murder

What would you do if murder calls?

Even if you’ve never seen the film Dial M for Murder, famously filmed by Alfred Hitchcock, don’t worry about feeling lost. All you need to know is there’s going to be a murder, which escalates from a husband’s jealousy and greed which lies beneath their marriage.

So, I’m there sat on the edge of my seat waiting as Tony Wendice (Daniel Betts) an ex tennis player is convinced his wife Shelia Wendice (Kelly Hotten) is having an affair with crime writter Max Halliday (Philip Cairns). So he spends a year planning the perfect murder by blackmailing an old school friend Captain Lesgate (Robert Perkins).

My mind was flicking back and forth. Will Tony kill Sheila? Will something happen and she kills him? Does someone else? Who will get framed? So many questions run though your mind just as they should. Unfortunately It took until the end of the first half for the play to reach out to me; it took too long to set the scene and plan the murder, plus for me there was a lack of sexual desire between husband and wife and lover and wife. The murder itself was done exceptionally well, to the point where I turned my head from the stage; plus the redness and lighting of the set added to the eeriness, along with the backing music.

The show eventually grabbed my attention as Inspector Hubbard (Christopher Timothy) sustained the suspense, with its twists, turns and added humour. I found myself muttering “Oooo” and “Oh, yeah!”, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one. As I grew up watching Christopher Timothy in Doctors and many other TV programmes, I was disappointed that I didn’t warm to him on stage as I thought I would.

For me there was something missing, it needed an x-factor that simply wasn’t there. Although there was a understated tension keeping the audience so quiet you could almost hear a pin drop. I was worried that the show was going to be dated and with the red revolving 50s-style set with long red curtain that rotates without disruption, plus the references to £1 notes and £50 being quoted as a lot of money confirmed that sometimes things should either be left in the past or updated to the 21st century.

It’s a simple play unlike any I have seen before, thinking about it who doesn’t like a good thriller on a chilly evening to get the blood pumping? It’s an old fashioned whodunnit play rather than “Will he get away with it?”. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to see what murder mystery plays are all about.

Personally, it did nothing for me. But then I’m not a Hitchcock, murder mystery fan.

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