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Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story to embark on 30th Anniversary Tour

Alex Fobbester as Buddy Holly

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

HAVING just completed a hugely successful six-month tour of the US and Canada, smash hit rock & roll musical Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story is set to celebrate its 30th Anniversary next year by making a triumphant return to its original opening venue and spiritual home, Theatre Royal Plymouth.

Buddy will open there on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 and play for one week before embarking on a UK wide tour (dates still to be confirmed).

To celebrate this landmark anniversary, there will be a special gala performance on Monday, September 2, 2019, with a limited number of tickets being offered at the original 1989 prices (from £7 – £10.50). Further details of this exclusive event will be released in due course.

Testament to the show’s enduring popularity, since opening at Theatre Royal Plymouth in August 1989, Buddy has enjoyed phenomenal success, having played a record breaking 4450 performances over 556 weeks on tour in the UK and Ireland, as well as 5822 performances over 728 weeks in London’s West End.

Next year, 2019, sees Buddy joining a small – but lauded – number of iconic musicals including Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Miss Saigon, Evita and Cats in reaching a phenomenal three decades on stage.

Fittingly, the Plymouth run will also see Buddy being performed on Buddy Holly’s birthday (September 7), allowing the cast and crew to pay homage to the man who inspired the smash hit success.

Adrian Vinken OBE, Chief Executive, Theatre Royal Plymouth said:

“We are proud that Buddy will be opening its 30th Anniversary Tour back here at the Theatre Royal Plymouth in 2019. Thirty years is an incredible achievement. The show was developed and started its life at the Theatre Royal Plymouth in 1989 and so this is very much the show’s ‘spiritual home’. Plymouth audiences have always loved to rock along to this show and the anniversary will be a major celebration. We look forward to welcoming Buddy back – and to wishing it well for the next 30 years!”

Loved by critics and audiences alike, Buddy tells the enduring tale of the musical icon’s meteoric rise to fame and his final legendary performance at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, before his tragic and untimely death at the age of 22. In 18 short months, the Texas-born boy revolutionized the face of contemporary music influencing everyone from The Beatles to Bruce Springsteen.

Audiences will be treated to 20 of Buddy Holly’s greatest hits, including timeless classics That’ll Be The Day, Peggy Sue, Oh Boy and Rave On.

Since its inception, Buddy has inspired a generation of multi-million selling juke-box musicals including Mamma Mia! and We Will Rock You, but remains the true original and a musical phenomenon. Seen by over 22 million music fans since it opened in London’s West End in 1989, Buddy speaks an international language and continues to have audiences from aged 8 to 80 years old rockin’ in the aisles across the globe!

Tickets for the Plymouth dates will be on general sale on Friday, June 8 at 10am and can be purchased at www.buddythemusical.com/.

Casting will be announced in due course.

Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story – 30 Years in Numbers:

• Since opening at the Theatre Royal Plymouth, in August 1989, Buddy has played 556 weeks (4,450 performances) on tour in the U.K., and 728 weeks (5822 performances) in London’s West End – for a total of 10,272 U.K. performances!

• In total our Buddy Hollys have sung 17 songs 264,346 times

• 186,000 guitar strings have been replaced (92 miles) and over 212,000 plectrums used

• 3,320 pairs of trousers have had to be replaced – due to Buddy knee sliding across stages throughout the world – and 410 pairs of glasses

• Over 33 tons of washing powder has been used by our Wardrobe Mistresses/Masters, as well as more than 2,750 gallons of fabric conditioner

• 150,000 feet (28.41 miles) of guitar cable have been used and 3,038,785 radio mic batteries replaced

• The trucks that are used to transport the show from venue to venue have now travelled approximately five-and-three-quarter times around the world!

• The performers have drunk over 104,000 gallons of bottled water. The beer intake has never been monitored!

• Throughout the world twelve couples have met and married while working in the company and there have been 26 Buddy babies!

• Extended runs and tours have included London, UK tours, Broadway, US tours, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Reno, Canada, Toronto, British Columbia, Australia, Sydney, New Zealand, Germany, Hamburg, South Africa, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Ireland, Japan, and Singapore

Buddy ran in the West End for over 14 years – playing the Victoria Palace, Strand (now Novello), and Duchess Theatres – making it one of the longest-running shows in London theatre history!