The production, which opens later this month (16 March to 18 April 2010, previews from 12 March), features a cast of 12 actor-musicians, and is helmed by Gatehouse artistic director John Plews.
Speaking to Whatsonstage.com, Plews said: “I've always been a huge Buddy Holly fan, and I asked Josef Weinberger if I could do the first production of it once the rights were released. Aside from being a show I'm keen to do, it's also a way of showing the West End that fringe venues can tackle big shows. Because it's a smaller cast, we've had to do a bit of doubling up, but apart from that we're not making any wholesale changes from the original.”
“We've had a lot of interest in it from people who saw the show in the West End or on tour, but are keen to see it done in a smaller space. Most of them remember it for making them dance in the aisles – with ours they'll be dancing on the stage!”
Plews also revealed he has received a phone call from Buddy's widow, Marie Elena Holly, to wish him luck for the production.
The cast is led by newcomer Roger Rowley as Buddy Holly, and also features: Jos Slovick (Spring Awakening), Henry Barrett (Crazy For You), Andrew Ashford, Emily Altneu, Jason Blackwater, Deanna Farnell, Sean Green, Richie Hart, Patrick Rowe, Nicky Swift and Alex Wadham.
The show - a tribute to rock 'n' roll singer Buddy Holly, who died in a plane crash in 1959 - premiered at the West End's Victoria Palace on 12 October 12 1989, before transferring on 6 October 1995 to the Strand Theatre (now the Novello). It finished there on 3 March 2002, returning to the Duchess five years later, in 2007. Since then it has continued to tour nationally and internationally.
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