Oh boy! Buddy Holly Story star Roger Rowley is hitting the right notes with this famous guitar to celebrate the tour’s 25th anniversary, writes Graham Walker.
It’s a recreation of the leather-crafted acoustic guitar which Buddy used to play.
An although it’s not the actual one owned by the Peggy Sue star, it has become theatre memorabilia gold in its own right.
The same guitar has been used in the hit production more than two decades, says Roger. from Horsforth, Leeds, who has been in around 900 of the shows.
THE BUDDY HOLY STORY PLAYS TWO FINAL SHOWS AT SHEFFIELD’S LYCEUM THEATRE TODAY (SAT, JUNE 14, 2014) AND IS AT BRADFORD’S ALHAMBRA THEATRE IN JULY. FULL DETAILS BELOW.
VIDEO: Press the play button to watch our backstage chat with Buddy Holly star Roger Rowley
He explained: “I’ve always been very impressed with this prop. The first time I picked it up in rehearsals I felt like a tourist. I’ve seen it used in interviews throughout the years, on GMTV in 1993 on YouTube, when I was doing rearch.
“This is the show’s 25th anniversary tour and I’m very lucky to be playing the man.”
The multi award winning West End show tells Buddy Holly’s story, from his meteoric rise to fame, to his final legendary performance at The Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa.
It featuring two hours of some of the greatest songs ever written, including That’ll Be The Day, Oh Boy, Rave On, La Bamba, Chantilly Lace, Johnny B. Goode, Raining In My Heart, Everyday, Shout and many many more.
Roger, who first played Buddy ion the show throughout 2011, returned to the part in September and is in the run until the end of August.
He explained how much of a team effort it is to stage the show and bring the story back to life.
Toger said: “I’ve done approaching 900 shows. I might have performed to more people than Buddy Holly did, I don’t know. Maybe that’s ridiculous.
“There’s two of us playing Buddy and we split the role, doing four shows each a week. I know I couldn’t do eight shows a week becuase I give it my absolute all every time. I come off sweating buckets and I can eat whatever I want, because I do so much jumping around.
“We work together as a team to create the legend of Buddy Holly and telling the hero journey.
“So it’s sort of unfair for me to bang on about how much work I do on sounding like Buddy. I do a lot of work to look like him as well. But it’s the context. We tell a simple story about Buddy’s rise to fame, through 18 months when he recorded about 10 hits records- from virtual obscurity to massive fame.
“The fact that we have people up on their feet by the end of nearly every show, shows how much a well oiled a machine it is. It brings people a lot of joy.”
He says going to the dressing room is like going to the office - but when he emerges, with the glasses on, he gives his all - every performance.
“I enjoy singing all the songs and look after them as though they were my own. I don’t sing them like they are my own. Every so often I get to sing a Buddy Holly song in my own voice but I find it so hard - the Buddy Holly voice creeps back in there, because it’s so hard-wired into my whole body.
“If you are an actor, with the right processors going on in you mind, you don’t need to rely on the costume to get you there. But it’s always a nice little kick, to blow off the last of those back in the office feelings, in the dressing room Put the glasses on and it’s all gone.
“People should come to see this because they will have a fantastic time. They are definitely going to feel restrained by the theatre seats that they will want to break out from them by the end.
You are going to learn a but more about Buddy Holly as a person, and be sereved up a platter of some of the best songs ever ritten.”
* The Buddy Holly Story’s final performances are today, Saturday, June 14, at 3pm and 7.45pm.
Tickets are £22 to £32, may include fees. Buy in person, call 0114 249 6000 or visit www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk.
The tour will play Bradford’s Alhambra Theatre from July 7 to 12, 2014 - for more details visit www.bradford-theatres.co.uk.