Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story

A celebration of the life and times of the young man with spectacles which catches that unique mixture of innocence, determination, humour and charm that was Buddy Holly.
The Buddy Holly Story at New Wimbledon Theatre

Image: Buddy Worldwide Limited


Genre: Musical
Venue: Richmond Theatre
Started: Tuesday 27 June 2017
Closed: Saturday 1 July 2017
Running time:2 hrs 25 mins (inc interval)
Age suitability: Suitable for all ages (8-80+)


The action takes place in Lubbock, Texas, Clovis, New Mexico, New York and Clear Lake, Iowa, between January 1956 and February 1959.

Starting out as a Country & Western singer in Lubbock, Texas, Buddy and his two friends Joe and Jerry form ‘The Crickets’, and with the support of a local radio DJ, ‘Hipockets’ Duncan, they begin to carve out a career in music.

After an inauspicious start at Decca Records in Nashville, Buddy and the Crickets sign a contract with up-and-coming innovative record producer, Norman Petty.

Within hours of meeting they start to record Buddy’s biggest hit “That’ll Be The Day” which will rocket up the charts to number one in a matter of weeks.

Buddy Holly & the Crickets suddenly become the hottest act in the country.

Now successful, the Crickets travel to New York, where Buddy meets and proposes to Maria Elena Santiago, the Puerto Rican receptionist of his music publisher, after a courtship which takes all of five hours!

Newly married and ambitious, Buddy completely shifts his focus to New York and an inevitable rift develops between him and the Crickets.

After a declaration of home truths during a recording session in Clovis, the band split and Buddy unexpectedly finds himself having to pursue a solo career.

The ‘Winter Dance Party 1959’ is a tour that is travelling by bus through the Midwest, quenching the teenage thirst for the new music called Rock & Roll.

The tour is hard work, the weather conditions appalling and the performers are alternating between sleeping in the luggage racks and dropping into hospital to be treated for frostbite.

Here, Buddy’s final performance at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, with Ritchie Valens (“La Bamba”) and the ‘Big Bopper’ J.P. Richardson (“Chantilly Lace”) is recreated.

After the concert, Buddy breaks his promise to his pregnant wife not to fly as he and the other two headliners board a small plane and fly off into the night for Moorhead, Minnesota, only to crash into a ploughed field shortly after take-off.

There are no survivors.

The tragedy snatches away the lives of three dynamic musical talents - Buddy Holly (22), Ritchie Valens (17) and the Big Bopper (28) - and as the legend says, it was “the day the music died.”

Buddy Holly’s brief life has become the stuff of legend.


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Postal address:
The Green
Richmond TW9 1QJ

Box office tel: 0844 871 7651

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Previews from:Tuesday 27 June 2017

Closes:Saturday 1 July 2017

Performance days & times


Tuesday ‑ 7‑30pm

Wednesday ‑ 7‑30pm

Thursday ‑ 7‑30pm

Friday ‑ 7‑30pm

Saturday ‑ 7‑30pm



Wednesday - 2-30pm

Saturday - 2-30pm



£20.40 - £41.40


Miguel Angel - Apollo Performer

Joe Butcher - Joe B. Mauldin

Celia Cruwys-finnigan - Vi Petty / Shirley

Jordan Cunningham - Ritchie Valens

Alex Fobbester - Buddy Holly

Josh Haberfield - Jerry Allison

Glen Joseph - Buddy Holly

Kerry Low - Maria Elenacast And Creative

Thomas Mitchells - The Big Bopper / Decca Producer

Matthew Quinn - Hipockets Duncan / Murray Deutch

Tom Sowinski - Apollo Dj / Jack Daw

Alex Tosh - Norman Petty


Author: Alan Janes
Director: Matt Salisbury
Designer: Adrian Rees
Musical direction: John Banister (Musical Supervisor)
Lighting: Darren Coopland
Sound: Pete Cox (thames Audio)

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