Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story, tells the story of a young boy who shot to stardom in the 1950s. The show is set in an America of great political and cultural change, and works as a showcase for the music genre that sparked the American youth movement – effectively ‘the invention of the teenager’. Combining a live performance of Buddy with classroom-based activity before and after your visit, this section works to present the show as an entertaining educational tool, giving teaching professionals some ideas of how to use the show in an educational capacity.

What it’s all about…

Set in the late 1950s, Buddy exudes the charm and innocence evocative of the era, and while it does not contain nudity or swear words, we would recommend that the show is not suitable for children under the age of seven. If you have any questions about the content of the show please contact us at:

What you get out of it...

The theatre is always an exciting experience for a young person, with each performance being unique to its audience. Musical theatre works to stimulate, entertain and excite, combining traditional theatrical acting with music and singing. Buddy - The Buddy Holly Storywas the first compilation musical and has been followed by many more. What’s more, the cast of Buddy are not only talented actors, they are also musicians.

The creators of the show envisioned a brand new concept with Buddy, where the majority of music is played live by the cast. Buddy’s ground-breaking format has been imitated but never matched; Buddy is the original and best example of compilation theatre incorporating live music.

In short, there is something for everyone! The best thing about bringing a class to Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story is the audience is positively encouraged to make noise and join in with the music and the fun.

After the Show…

Below are some exercises that have been created to use in conjunction with the show. Of course, these are just suggestions:

1. Assess Buddy Holly’s contribution to the evolution of popular music, with examples of his influence on subsequent generations of artists.

2. Would Buddy Holly have become such an icon had he not died at 22? Present examples in your argument of musicians who have died and become icons in a similar way. You might also like to speculate about what might have become of Buddy had he not died at such a young age.

3. In terms of the historical and cultural context of the show, what events, movements, groups and experiences, might have influenced Buddy and his music? Think about racial and geographical influences, Buddy’s religious background, and other popular artists at the time that might have influenced his music and the youth movement in 1950s America.


If you are an education professional, we’d love to hear any comments or thoughts you may have on the show. Please contact us at:

A Resource Pack containing a look at the life and times of Buddy Holly, the show, and his music, is available below.