national Arts Festival Banner

Monday, July 18, 2016


(Rae Du Plooy, Andrew Sutton, Joshua Arnold & Joshua Milne)

This July, Durban audiences can enjoy the story of pioneering Rhythm and Blues legend, Buddy: the Buddy Holly Story at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre from July 23 to August 7.

Catalina UnLtd, continuing in the great tradition, presents the smash-hit musical, Buddy: the Buddy Holly Story. This production, under the capable direction of Themi Venturas, brings together a top professional team including Daisy Spencer (choreographer and co-director), Des Govender (vocal coach), Dawn Selby (musical director), Megan Levy (sound engineer), Michael Broderick (lighting design) Clinton and Ronel Stevenson (AV design) and Black Coffee Productions, all of whom will contribute to making this a musical theatre experience of the highest standard.

Durban has a fine tradition of musical theatre youth development projects. It began in the early days of South Africa’s new democracy with what was then known as the VW MusicActive programme. During this time, Durban audiences enjoyed the best of local young musical theatre performers in productions like Hair and Siyajema.

This was followed up by 15 years of the Young Performers Project, which has operated under different guises and funders, bringing the region productions such as Curtain Up, One Voice, Grease, Annie, The Wiz, Oliver!, Fiddler on the Roof, School of Rock SA, Big River, Hairspray, Seussical, Can you Feel it?, Footloose, and Soldiers in the City.

High school learners were auditioned around the KZN province and those selected are certainly the cream of the 2016 crop. There are 21 talented young performers all of whom can sing, dance and act. Learners selected are from Durban High School, Glenwood High School, Westville Girls High School, Queensburgh Girls High School, Durban Girls High School, Kingsway High School, Roseway Waldorf School, Curro Hillcrest Christian Academy, Skethuxolo High School, St Mary’s High School, and Umhlanga College.

Durban fans will remember the smash hit show that toured South Africa with Craig Urbani as Buddy Holly. In the lead role of Buddy Holly for this version, is accomplished DHS learner, Joshua Arnold.

The show is filled with toe tapping hits including Buddy Holly classics like That’ll be the day, Everyday, Oh Boy! Maybe Baby, Peggy Sue, Big Bopper’s Chantilly Lace, Ritchie Valens’ smash hit La Bamba and Chuck Berry’s Johnny B Goode. Audiences can expect a rocking and rollicking fun show that tells the story of an amazing music industry legend whose life was tragically cut short.

The fine tradition of youth musical theatre continues with a new version entitled #MusicalTheatreAlive produced by Catalina UnLtd as part of their capacity building development programme funded by the Ethekwini Municipality, the KZN Department of Arts & Culture, and RCL Foods.

Buddy: the Buddy Holly Story is presented by arrangement with DALRO, representing Joseph Weinberger Limited, London on behalf of David Spicer Productions, and all authorised performance materials have been supplied by DALRO (Pty) Ltd.,

Buddy: the Buddy Holly Story runs at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre from July 23 to August 7 at 19h00. Tickets R120 (R70 for discounted performances on July 23 at 14h30 and 19h00 and on July 24 at 14h30).

Schools performances on July 29 and August 2 and 4 at 14h30 (R50 per learner) - booking through email