Thursday, 9 January 2020

Buddy - The Buddy Holly Show @ Mayflower Southampton

Before receiving an invitation to go and watch Buddy - The Buddy Holly Show, I hadn't even heard of Buddy Holly, however as I told people that I was going, they told me of his influence on the music industry and assured me that I was in for an incredible night, and they certainly weren't wrong!

I went in not knowing how the show itself would unfold in front of me, and it was certainly unlike anything I had seen before. The cast itself was small and the stage minimalistic, because the power of the voices of those on stage needed no dressing up, their talent spoke for itself.

The story itself follows Buddy Holly's rise to fame over the course of 18 months. As the audience, you watch him playing at radio stations with The Crickets, you watch them recording their first album until early hours in the morning, and then you become the audience of their first performance at The Apollo Theatre in Harlem. You see Buddy meet his wife, Maria, and then for the final scene, you see Buddy following the separation from The Crickets. You are the final audience of his life, and watch him in his full glory, soaking up every second on stage, yet equally desperate to return home to Maria. The voiceover tells you of his death, with his two friends on the plane at just 22 years old, and there was a moment of complete sobriety, where you could feel the mourning of the loss of such a talent at such a young age.

Buddy Holly himself said that "It's not that I want to be rich. i just want the world to remember the name Buddy Holly" and that rang true through the theatre. The audience was enthralled by the music of Holly. The idea of Buddy Holly being forgotten seems impossible, when his influence can be heard in the songs of Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and many more.

There were moments of hilarity, with witty jokes and great acting, there were moments of stillness, and moments when you couldn't help but clap along and want to get up and dance! The cast were phenomenal, interacting with the audience and each other, with flawless vocals that blew me away. There was no backing track required, as their talent shone through with their own instruments throughout. 

To me, The Buddy Holly Show felt so much more than a show. It was a celebration of music and joy, but more so, a celebration of a life taken too soon. A story of pure determination, hard work and perseverance. The refusal to take the 'No', and continue until somebody realises that you were not destined to follow the crowd, but that you were born to stand out, and change the status quo.

Buddy- The Buddy Holly Show is touring until July this year, and you can see the dates and venues here.

*I was kindly gifted this ticket by The Mayflower Southampton, but all views & opinions are my own.

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