Barry Steele and Friends to perform musical journey of Roy Orbison at the Churchill Theatre

PUBLISHED: 17:07 14 February 2018 | UPDATED: 17:23 14 February 2018

Barry Steele performing as Roy Orbison. Picture: Lynne Steele

Barry Steele performing as Roy Orbison. Picture: Lynne Steele


He’s the man with the sunglasses and the black suit who delivered some of the world’s darkest and most emotional ballads, yet Texas-born Roy Orbison remains one of the most distinctive looking - and sounding - performers of modern music.

Now, super-fan Barry Steele takes on the role of the singer-songwriter in The Roy Orbison Story, to be shown at the Churchill Theatre on February 23.

He comes with great credentials and a genuine admiration for the Big O, and is set to put the rock back into ‘Roy Orbison’ as he takes to the stage to commemorate the legend.

The contemporary production celebrates the life and musical legacy of Roy Orbison, and Barry is backed in this 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 the much-loved singer.

Interspersed with factoids and information about the musician, audiences can expect to see what is being billed as an upbeat and contemporary slant on Orbison’s legacy.

Barry Steele reveals that it was on a family holiday to Cornwall in 2001 that he took the first steps on the road to becoming a professional singer, when his wife Lynne and their daughter Leonie entered him into a singing competition without his 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.”

It was after this that Barry became absorbed in Orbison and his music.

Barry has toured many countries with his tribute act, including Holland, Germany, Austria, New Zealand, Ireland and Denmark.

He even got to sing in front of Roy’s son Wesley whilst in America.

The show promises to take audiences on a musical journey, from the early Sun years right through to the late 1980s, when Orbison was experiencing a huge resurgence in popularity, working with Bono, Bruce Springsteen, super group the Travelling Wilburys, former Beatle George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne.

Audiences are invited to get ready for a night of solid gold hits and 80s contemporary genius, as the production features not only original material written but never sung by Orbison, it also showcases chart busting hits originally made famous by the likes of Jerry Lewis, Jeff Lynne, ELO, George Harrison and many more.

Barry believes the singers popularity is rooted in the versatility of his music.

He said: “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, they 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 simply quite timeless.”

Nicknamed ‘the Caruso of rock’, Orbison’s music - from his lyrics to his voice - was seen as distinctively recognisable, with an air of mystery, and Barry, widely recognised as one of the word’s leading tributes to Orbison, has been stunning audiences with his uncanny ability to recreate the vocal talents of the musical enigma.

Having received an array of glowing reviews across the globe, Barry seems the most obvious option to take on the role of Orbison’s story in the musical rendition of a man who is considered to be one of the best singers the world has known.

The show will start at 7:30pm and tickets cost £25 - to book tickets visit

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