Buddy is a half-play, half-tribute act which has been seen by more than 22m fans all around the world.

The musical brings to life the story of one of the most influential men in modern music, featuring songs such as That’ll Be the Day, Oh Boy and La Bamba.

For Roger Rowley, the man who plays the American star, Buddy is about more than just singing Holly’s songs, it is about immersing himself in the role.

He says: “I have listened to all the records, all the television interviews and all the radio interviews.

“I try to look and sound like him as much as I can because I have to tell a story.

“We take his voice as a relic from the past and assume it was accepted back then and do not question it.

“People confused Buddy as a black artist in the early days.”

Along with Rowley, actors and musicians tell Buddy Holly’s story, from his meteoric rise to fame, to his final legendary performance at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa.

Speaking of his love for the Johnny B Goode singer, Rowley says he considers Holly to be ahead of his time.

He says: “He knew he had something at that everyone would want and love and he took that forward.

“Personally, I am a huge fan although it is quite hard to listen to the songs because I am around them all of the time now.

“It is a great production to be part of and the aim is to give people who come to see it memories that will last a lifetime.

“Richmond is a lovely theatre to perform at.”

Buddy; Richmond Theatre, the Green, Richmond; May 27-31, evening 7.30pm, matinee 2.30pm; tickets £12.90-£33.90; visit atgtickets.com/shows/buddy/richmond-theatre.