Through The Decades With Roy Orbison & Buddy Holly Review – St. Helens Theatre Royal, St. Helens

Image Source: Guildhall Arts Centre

Through The Decades With Roy Orbison & Buddy Holly

Format: Music Show
Genre: Rock ‘N’ Roll
Review Date: March 1 2020
Performance: March 1 2020
Location: St. Helens Theatre Royal, St. Helens
Duration: 120 Minutes incl. Interval
Age Rating: 8+

Through The Decades With Roy Orbison & Buddy Holly celebrates two of the most famous male vocalists of the 20th century, bringing their talents together for one major show, which just came to St. Helens Theatre Royal.


Roy Orbison (played here by Darren Paige) was an American singer born in Vernon, Texas on April 23 1936, and he died in Hendersonville, Tennessee. He married twice: Claudette first, and then Barbara. But both wives died tragically, and also two of his sons died in a house fire. Roy, despite his success, did not live a happy life, which may have been a factor in the sad tone of so many songs he wrote and performed. As for Buddy Holly (played here by Marc Robinson), he was also an American musician and songwriter. He was born in Lubbock, Texas on September 7 1936, with him having a very early and very tragic death in a plane crash shortly after taking off in Clear Lake, Iowa on February 3 1959; Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens also died in the same plane crash. To this day, however, both are still fondly remembered, hence this show paying tribute to two iconic performers.

Roy came on stage with his dark glasses and guitar, and sang a lot of his most well-known songs, such as Only The Lonely, I Got A Woman, Sweet Dreams Baby, It’s Over and Candy Coloured Clown. Then came Buddy with his own recognisable shades, and he sang Peggy Sue, Heartbeat and – with the drummer leaving his equipment to head to the front of the stage to slap his thighs as per the original studio recording – Everyday. We also heard Bo Diddley and Rave On.

As the show progressed, so did the standard of the songs, with their biggest hits and combined efforts creating a great atmosphere. Roy returned to cover Leah and Crying; the two then worked together to perform joint renditions, and they also sang tunes from other famous artists, such as Elvis Presley, The Rolling Stones and Paul Anka. The encore of Pretty Woman was an ideal way to end the night.


Darren Paige as Roy Orbison displayed his remarkable vocal range on numerous occasions, while Marc Robinson as Buddy Holly had the mannerisms off to a tee with the knee-swinging motions, and of course with his own singing. They worked together well, complimenting one another’s styles and linking well through dances such as hand-jiving. The backing band were also very talented, such as the guitarist who both sang and strummed; he was an excellent musician, and he also had a great voice.


If you are a fan of either Buddy Holly or Roy Orbison, Through The Decades is the show for you. It was very enjoyable and is well worth seeing.


Target Audience: Adults Aged 40+
Content: No Content Likely To Offend
Recommendation?: Yes
Overall Rating: 9/10 – Outstanding

Further Details

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