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The First UK tour of Starlight Express ran from November 2004 - 2008, produced by David Ian for Clear Channel Productions from 2004 - September 2005, and David Ian Productions from February 2006 - March 2008.

Credits

Production Specifics

Following the closure of the original London production in 2002, there was considerable public appetite to see Starlight Express visit other parts of the country.

After the closure of the 2003 US Tour, many of the properties of that production were used to tour the UK, including some new music written by David Yazbek and the 3D race footage. Much of the new material used on the US Tour was revised back to the material used in London, as many of the cast and production team had worked on the original production.

Design

2006 UK Tour stage

The 2004 production presented a stripped-down version of the now-familiar Starlight set: the bowl, the split-level set, and a lollypop-shaped track into the stalls that the production team nicknamed 'the pod'[1]. Some of the technology from the previous US tour was brought across, such as the revolving stage, while a lot of the set was built new to suit UK theatres.

Although the set was designed to be portable, it proved too big for some regional theatres, so for the tour's second leg in 2006, the set was replaced by a open stage with arches across the back of the stage, and 2 portable ramps the cast would push on at key points in the show.  

Costume Credits: Wardrobe and Wigs Supervisor: Martin Rodges. Costumes made by Amanda Barrow, Mike & Rosi Compton, Phil Reynolds. Fabric Dyeing: Nicola Killeen. Fabric printing: Penny Hadrill, Nick Voller. Hats: Karen Shannon. Wigs: Darren Ware. Wardrobe Mistress: Sue Buckley. Deputy: David Thorne. Assistant: Rebecca Pamment.

Musical Numbers

The UK Tour was a development of the 2003 US Tour, however many of David Yazbek's contributions to the score were removed in favour of the later London score. Where the US Tour had been extensively re-written in the underscoring and elements of scenes such as the individual introductions in "Freight", only "Whole Lotta Locomotion remained of the new material. However even this number was updated with a new introduction as the coaches introduced themselves, paraphrasing the original lyrics of "A Lotta Locomotion.

Unlike the previous tour and the London show, "Girls' Rolling Stock" was cut from this production. The first tour date, in Manchester in November 2004, saw Pearl and Rusty's big number being "Next Time You Fall In Love" as in London - however shortly after they sang the US Tour version of "Only He".

Control was recorded fresh for this new production, by a young Georgina Hagen. As Peter Hagen's daughter, Georgina had grown up very familiar with the later London Control recorded by Tara Wilkinson, and Georgina mimiced many of her mannerisms while also having a level of authenticity as a twelve year old.

Races

The only change to the 3D filmed races from the US tour to the UK was the new recording of Control. Control's script is much closer to the London version, including laying out the rules of the race: "We have two eliminator heats, the first two trains from each heat make the Final. Got that? Two heats, two qualifiers from each". Unfortunately this dialogue doesn't square up to the filmed races, where there are only three trains per heat as opposed to the live races in London with four trains in each race. No mention is made of a fourth finalist at the end of heat 2.

Act 1 Featured Characters
 
Entry of the National Engines Ruhrgold, Turnov, Nintendo, Prince of Wales, Greaseball
Rolling Stock Greaseball, National Engines, Gang
Taunting Rusty Rusty, Greaseball, National Engines
Call Me Rusty Rusty, Pearl, Dinah, Ashley, Buffy
Whole Lotta Locomotion Pearl, Dinah, Ashley, Buffy
He'll Whistle At Me Pearl, Dinah, Ashley, Buffy
Freight Hip Hoppers, Flat Top, Dustin, Caboose, Coaches, Rusty
AC/DC Electra, Wrench, Purse, Joule, Volta, Ensemble
Pumping Iron Greaseball, Ensemble
Coda Freight Greaseball, Electra
Crazy Rusty, Pearl, Dinah, Ashley, Buffy
Pearl, You've Been Honoured Purse, Pearl, Rusty
Make Up My Heart Pearl
Race: Heat One Greaseball & Dinah
Ruhrgold & Caboose
Electra & Pearl
Poppa's Blues Poppa, Hoppers, Flat Top, Dustin
Rusty Why You Looking Sad Rusty, Poppa, Hoppers, Flat Top, Dustin
Race: Heat Two Nintendo & Buffy
Turnov & Ashley
Poppa & Dustin
Laughing Stock Poppa, Rusty, Greaseball, Electra, Ensemble
Starlight Express Rusty
Act 2 Featured Characters
 
The Rap: What Time Is It? It's Race Time! The Company
Pearl Twirl Greaseball, Pearl, Dinah
U.N.C.O.U.P.L.E.D. Dinah, Ashley, Buffy
Dinah, You're Honoured Purse, Dinah, Ashley, Buffy
Wide Smile Caboose, Electra, Greaseball
Cancelled Race Greaseball & Pearl
Electra & Dinah
Rusty & Caboose
I Was Robbed Pearl, Greaseball, Rusty, Gang
Right Place, Right Time Hip Hoppers
Starlight Sequence Rusty, Starlight Express
Rusty and Dustin Rusty, Dustin
Dinahs Disco Dinah, Electra, Caboose
World Championship Race Greaseball & Pearl
Electra & Caboose
Rusty & Dustin
One Rock & Roll Too Many Greaseball, Electra, Caboose
Only He Pearl, Rusty
Rusty King of the Track Dinah, Greaseball, Ensemble
Light at the End of the Tunnel Company
Megamix Company


Tour Dates

The first UK tour opened in November 2004 at the Palace Theatre in Manchester. It ran until September 2005 and, following a short break, went back on the road with a new cast from February 2006 to March 2008.

Press materials referred to the 2006-2008 leg as a separate production. Artistically, however, it was a continuation of the first production, albeit using a revised, smaller set and some new cast.

City 2004 - 2005 Dates
Manchester Palace? Theatre 01/11/2004 - 04/12/2004
Sunderland Empire Theatre 08/12/2004 - 05/01/2005
Bristol Hippodrome 26/01/2005 - 05/03/2005
Oxford New Theatre 09/03/2005 - 26/03/2005
Edinburgh Theatre 30/03/2005 - 07/05/2005
Southampton Mayflower Theatre 11/05/2005 - 18/06/2005
Liverpool Theatre 22/06/2005 - 30/07/2005
Birmingham Theatre 03/08/2005 - 10/09/2005
City 2006 Dates
Torquay Theatre 06/02/2006 - 25/02/2006
Milton Keynes Theatre 28/02/2006 - 14/03/2006
Stoke on Trent Theatre 21/03/2006 - 08/04/2006
Cardiff Theatre 11/04/2006 - 29/04/2006
Woking Victoria Theatre 02/05/2006 - 27/05/2006
Norwich Theatre 30/05/2006 - 24/06/2006
Glasgow Theatre 04/07/2006 - 22/07/2006
Dublin Theatre 26/07/2006 - 19/08/2006
Eastbourne Theatre 23/08/2006 - 09/09/2006
Southend on Sea Theatre 12/09/2006 - 23/09/2006
Grimsby Theatre 26/09/2006 - 07/10/2006
Bournemouth Theatre 17/10/2006 - 04/11/2006
Wimbledon New Theatre 14/11/2006 - 02/12/2006
Leicester Theatre 02/12/2006 - 30/12/2006
City 2007 - 2008 Dates
Manchester Theatre 10/01/2007 - 03/02/2007
Liverpool Theatre 06/02/2007 - 24/02/2007
Birmingham Theatre 27/02/2007 - 17/03/2007
Southampton Mayflower 20/03/2007 - 07/04/2007
Sunderland Theatre 10/04/2007 - 28/04/2007
Edinburgh Theatre 01/05/2007 - 19/05/2007
Canterbury Theatre 22/05/2007 - 09/06/2007
Hull Theatre 12/06/2007 - 30/06/2007
Bristol Theatre 17/07/2007 - 11/08/2007
Bradford Theatre 14/08/2007 - 08/09/2007
Nottingham Theatre 11/09/2007 - 29/09/2007
Belfast Theatre 03/10/2007 - 20/10/2007
Stockholm Theatre 01/11/2007 - 03/11/2007
Gothenburg Theatre 08/11/2007 - 10/11/2007
Oslo Theatre 15/11/2007 - 17/11/2007
Oxford New Theatre 11/12/2007 - 05/01/2008
Aberdeen Theatre 21/01/2008 - 09/02/2008
Plymouth Theatre 11/02/2008 - 01/03/2008


2004–05 Cast

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11/2004 - 09/2005 Cast
Rusty James Gillan Pearl Jane Horn
Greaseball Tom Kanavan Dinah Tanya Robb
Electra Mykal Rand Ashley Amy Field
Poppa Anton Stephens Buffy Ashley Hale
Hopper 1 Johnny Shentall Flat-top Paul Christopher
Hopper 2 Tyman Boatwright Dustin Gavin Ashbarry
Hopper 3 Craig McDermott Caboose Grant Murphy
Purse Matthew Boulton Ruhrgold Jake Samuels
Wrench Ruthie Stephens Turnov Chris Thatcher
Volta Lauren Brooke Nintendo Philippe Reynolds
Joule Danielle-Leigh Morris Prince of Wales Adam Floyd
Trax Matt King
Swing Lucinda Gill Swing Carla Pullen
Swing Tony Andrade Swing Jamie Capewell
Swing James Marshall Swing Andrew Millar

2006 Cast

Photo gallery.png
02/2006 - 12/2006 Cast
Rusty Oliver Thornton Pearl Miria Parvin
Greaseball Tom Kanavan Dinah Lucy-Jane Adcock
Electra Mykal Rand Ashley Amy Thornton / Rebecca Lisewski
Poppa Michael Samuels Buffy Alexandra Gotteschall
Hopper 1 Robert Nurse Flat-top Adam Ellis
Hopper 2 Carlton Connell Dustin Gavin Ashbarry
Hopper 3 Tony Andrade Caboose Stuart Armfield
Purse Ben Draper Ruhrgold Ryan Dixon
Wrench Bekki Carpenter Turnov James Marin
Volta Rebecca Lisewski Nintendo Tim Driesen
Joule Holly James Prince of Wales Gareth Davis
Trax Matt King Swing Melanie Cripps
Swing Lucinda Gill Swing Leyla Pellegrini
Swing Jamie Capewell Swing Lee Lomas
Swing James Marshall Swing Andrew Millar

2007-08 Cast

Photo gallery.png
01/2007 - 03/2008 Cast
Rusty Kristofer Harding Pearl Gemma Atkins
Greaseball Tom Kanavan Dinah Lucy-Jane Adcock
Electra Mykal Rand Ashley Amy Thornton
Poppa Michael Samuels Buffy Kimmi Richards
Hopper 1 Damian Winter-Higgins Flat-top Glenn Robb
Hopper 2 Ben Harrold Dustin Gavin Ashbarry
Hopper 3 Robert Nurse Caboose Cameron Neilson
Purse Ben Draper Ruhrgold Kris Manuel
Wrench Amy Webb Turnov Mark Willshire
Volta Saskia Lockey Nintendo Matt Krzan
Joule Emma Stephens Prince of Wales Mark Hedges
Trax Matt King
Swing Lucy Boldero Swing Ruthie Stephens
Swing Tony Andrade Swing Jamie Capewell
Swing Lee Lomas Swing Andrew Millar

Media

Reviews

Videos

Only_He_-_Gemma_Atkins_Kris_Harding_UK_Tour_2007

Only He - Gemma Atkins Kris Harding UK Tour 2007

Gemma Atkins and Kristofer Harding, 2007

References

  1. Fraley, Michal: Skating the Starlight Express (2011), ISBN: 978-1-4583-7432-5
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