Buddy Bids 'Bye 'Bye - March 2002Date: 21 November 2001
Buddy, the long-running bio-musical about the late, great rock 'n' roll singer Buddy Holly who died in a plane crash, aged 21, is to close at the Strand Theatre after a run of nearly twelve-and-a-half years on March 3, 2002. It was originally booking to May 18, 2002.
The show, which premiered at the Victoria Palace on October 12, 1989, before transferring to the Strand Theatre where it re-opened on October 6, 1995, recently officially celebrated its 5,000th performance in London.
Scripted by Alan Janes and directed by Rob Bettinson, the same team went on to produce another bio-musical, Jolson, that took Buddy's place at the Victoria Palace with Brian Conley in the title role, but ran for only a short time.
Buddy, on the other hand, has been a worldwide success, playing in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Hamburg, Holland, Sweden and South Africa. While it has also toured successfully in the US, a Broadway run at the Shubert Theatre in 1995 was a flop.
In London, it is said to have played to over 7million people and taken in excess of £100,000,000. After it closes here, it will embark on a European tour in Denmark in September 2002, before returning to the UK for a national tour here in January 2003. It is also set to re-open in Australia in January 2002.
The title role is currently being played by Gus MacGregor, who was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award last year in the category Best Actor in a Musical. Also in the show are George Ritchie as Richie Valens and Simon Rawlings as the Big Bopper.
- Mark Shenton