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TGt Meets… Barry Steele

Ahead of his show The Roy Orbison Story at Wyvern Theatre, we spoke to Barry Steele to find out what you can expect from the show and how he came to be a Roy Orbison tribute!

What can the Wyvern Theatre audience expect from your show The Roy Orbison Story?

I am backed in this all live multi-media show, with not only a fabulous band and musicians, but a big screen featuring both live streaming, and images from the life and times of Roy Orbison, interspersed with factoids and information about the life and times of what is considered to be one of the best singers the world has ever known. 

When did you first discover your singing abilities and their likeness to Roy Orbison’s?

It was on a family holiday in Cornwall in 2001 that I took the first steps on the road to becoming a professional singer, when my wife Lynne and daughter Leonie entered me into a singing competition without my knowledge. It was there that a fellow competitor said to me, “You know you sound just like Roy Orbison singing Robbie Williams!” so with the help of family and friends a tribute to The Big ‘O’ was born

What is your favourite Roy Orbison song?

California Blue & Leah

With so many great songs to choose from, how did you pick which ones to include in the show?

The set list has evolved over the years, and with the back catalogue Roy Orbison has it was difficult.

We used feedback from the audience and of course we sing the best sellers, but there are a few surprises in this year’s show. Orbison’s songs not only have wonderful melodies and tunes, the lyrics are some of the most sublime ever written.  Not only does the music take you back in time, the songs can make you happy, sad and emotive all at the same time. Orbison is known as a balladeer, but he also recorded and performed rocky and contemporary songs. His songs are quite simply timeless.

What has been one of your fondest memories from your shows?

Touring New Zealand, meeting Wesley Orbison (Roy’s son) and duetting with Bill Dees (co-writer of Oh Pretty Woman).

Looking back, what would you say some of your career highlights have been?

As above really, but one highlight is about to happen as we make our West End Debut in December at The Adelphi Theatre. 

What have been your main challenges surrounding this production and how have you overcome them?

As we tour continuously, last year’s Aussie flu hit the cast pretty hard. But we carried on and just kept going.

Are you going to be exploring much of the local area when you’re in Swindon for the show?

We know Swindon quite well as Lynne’s (the producer) favourite cousin Gary lives in Wroughton, and our daughter was a dentist at Brize… I was also in the RAF in my younger days and made many a visit to the station.

What’s next for Barry Steele after The Roy Orbison Story tour?

We have no plans to stop touring, we will continue to tour the show for as long as possible, as we love it.

The Roy Orbison Story comes to the Wyvern Theatre stage on June 8th. For further information or to get your tickets click here!

Wyvern Theatre Swindon

Wyvern Theatre Swindon

Wyvern Theatre Swindon offers an excellent mixed programme of concerts, comedy, dance, drama, musical theatre and local amateur productions.

Theatre Square, Swindon, SN1 1QN

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