13-15 March 2014
Reviewed by Debbie Tasker
Last night we visited Liverpool’s Empire Theatre to see Buddy. Oh Boy did we Rave On and I would do it all Everyday in a Heartbeat because It’s So Easy but I guess That’ll Be The Day – yes all the hits were there(I’ve mentioned six there in case you haven’t noticed) blasted with gusto to the audience by a very talented cast of musicians singers actors and dancers.
The first act started out rather slow and I did wonder could Glen Joseph pull of playing the late great Buddy Holly. Oh yes could he! He was superb throughout and I really enjoyed his performance.
The story starts in Buddy’s hometown Lubbock, Texas and follows his rise to stardom over the next 18 months ending with his last performance at Surf Ballroom Clear Lake Iowa before the tragic air crash.
The Apollo Theatre scenes were exceptional full of humour and history. Lydia Fraser (Apollo Performer) steals the show at this point with her portrayal of a sassy singer/compare in the 50s. The sets do their job but I would say they are fairly basic for such a big production. But this doesn’t detract from the show and in all honestly they are not needed to be over the top. You are too engaged with Buddy and The Crickets to notice much else.
The costumes are spot on full of colour and flair of the Rock and Roll era.
We enjoyed the whole show and danced/clapped and sang along as did most of the audience all the way through. The closing numbers where Big Bopper (Jason Blackwater) performed Chantilly Lace, Ritchie Valens (Will Pearce) La Bamba and Buddy and the Crickets Raining In My Heart, It Doesn’t Matter Anymore, Rave On and Johnny Be Goode had everybody on their feet. You could hear a pin drop when the curtain closed suddenly, the music stops and His death is announced. I even had a little cry! But the next minute the bright lights are back and the party goes on.
A brilliant feel good night out.
The Empire is situated on Lime Street and is easy to find. Staff are friendly and the interior of the building is stunning. Seating is staggered and very roomy for an old theatre. Drinks/ Snack prices are as you would expect.
Tickets cost from £12.90 to £31.40 (plus £2.85 transaction fee).
For more information or to book tickets visit www.atgtickets.com/liverpool.