Flat-Top is the brick truck in Starlight Express. Cheeky and irreverent, Flat-Top treats the race night as an entertaining diversion from working in the Freight train.


"Flat-Top. He's the punk of the freight yard, rebel of all things freight. He wants to be part of Greaseball's gang so he can show the world just how bad he is. He dosen't have any friends except Dustin and Rusty, and the only thing he keeps is a pet brick. He named him Brick because he's a pet brick. Brick is always loyal to Flat-Top, and wishes to be a real pet."
Flat-Top is a young punk, rebelling against anything he can, loving to get a reaction and a rise out of anyone. He's part of the Freight train, particularly close to big, slow Dustin. He gives the impression of not caring about anything, but when he sees his friends hurt, his tough outside cracks.

Flat-Top is often seen trying to flirt with the female characters, particularly Ashley, Joule, and most unsuccessfully, Volta.

Brick, the Pet Brick

Brick, Flat-Top's pet brick, can be many things:

  • Yo-Yo
  • Mobile phone
  • nail file
  • mouth organ
  • comb
  • sandwich
  • talking parrot, and
  • usually, a pet brick


We first meet Flat-Top when Rusty brings in the Freight train. He's a tough, rebellious kid, who takes Control's command to introduce himself as a challenge. He takes joy in threatening to throw his brick into the audience. For all they are totally unalike, Flat-Top is good friends with Dustin, the big hopper, and looks out for him. Flat-top awkwardly tries to catch the eye of one of the Coaches, but rarely has any luck. Being a cheeky, disrespectful and not easily scared character, he's quite happy to joke about Electra in the introduction to AC/DC - Dustin is impressed "Electra must be rich to have his own repair truck!" But Flat-top jokes "Or unreliable! hah!" Flat-Top often seems more impressed by the sexy Component girls than Electra himself. Flat-Top dreams of being like Greaseball, and accepted into his Gang, and as Greaseball sings "Pumping Iron", Flat-Top has been known to imitate him. As all the racers find their partners, Flat-Top is left without a place in the race, to his annoyance.

In the Freight yard, Flat-Top is not a fan of Poppa's Blues - complaining "That stuff is so out of date!" Rather than dancing or listening, Flat-Top spends the song playing with his brick or winding up Dustin. Poppa has no time for his lip - he tries to encourage Rusty to believe in his power as a Steamer, but Flat-Top would rather shout for "Oil! Oil! Oil!" Poppa's anger flares at the disrespectful interruption, and he tells Flat-Top that "Oil is for the Diesel himself!" That puts Flat-Top into a sulk, and when Poppa asks if he'll race with him, he's offended at the suggestion. "No way, not with you! Me, go with a Steamer, all smelly and smoking, all ancient and filthy, you gotta be joking!" He ducks out of the way before Poppa can respond, but Dustin volunteers instead.

Once Poppa and Dustin have won the second heat, but Poppa's collapsed, Flat-Top begins to show a softer side to his character as he is worried about the old Steamer. But he quickly covers up the emotion with Greaseball and his Gang show up mocking the steamers. Flat-Top is conflicted - he desperately wants to cool enough to hang out with the Diesels, but the Steamers are like family to him. After a moment's hesitation, he makes his decision, and joins Greaseball's gang. He stays with them for The Rap, and then as things turn progressively uglier after the Uphill Final, and the Gang turn on Rusty, beating him up after the race is called off. Flat-Top's ended up holding Rusty's helmet, and seeing him on the ground, beaten up and defeated, Flat-Top can't just skate off with the gang. He hangs back for a moment, just to check he's alright and hand back the helmet. After seeing just how nasty Greaseball can be, Flat-Top finds other company for the rest of the race night, making his way back to the Freight train and the familiar irritations.

Flat-Top's role in the show was increased when Caboose was cut from the London production, as Flat-Top took some of his stage space and plot - for example, rather than Caboose causing Rusty to crash in the uphill final, it was the fight, and Rusty was injured by the Gang working on Greaseball's command rather than the accident. Flat-Top was left to fill the space left by the lack of crazy Caboose.


Costume design


Photo gallery


Flat-Top often understudies Caboose, and performers often switch between the two roles.


1984 - 1986 Mark Davis
1986 - 1989 Eddie Kemp
1989 - 1990 Jeff Baptista
1990 - 1991 Michael Cahill
1991 - 1992 Garry Noakes
1992 - 1994 Richard Mylan
1994 - 1996 Darryl Paul
1996 - 1997 Ian Stanley
1997 - 1998 Ian Meeson
1998 - 1999 Andrew Spillett
1999 - 2001 Jamie Golding
2001 - 2002 Ross Dawes


1987 - 1988 Todd Lester
1988 - 1989 Michael O'Steen

Japan / Australia Tours

1987 Michael Sundin
1990 Masayoshi Hamana

Bochum, Germany

1988 - 1989 Michael Rivera
1989 - 1990 Simon Harrison-Scott
1990 - 1991 Alexander Lee Burgos
1991 - 1992 Freddy Moretine
1992 - 1992 Tom Moneypenny
1992 - 1993 Darryl Paul
1993 - 1996 Ramon Visser
1996 - 1997 Paul Whitaker
1997 - 1998 Frankie Braxton
1998 - 1999 Ian Stanley
1999 - 2000 Ramon Visser
2000 - 2001 Ian Stanley
2001 - 2004 Ramon Visser
2004 - 2005 Romeo Salazar
2005 - 2006 Lucas Glover
2006 - 2008 Stephan Zenker
2008 - 2009 Eddie Dredge
2009 - 2010 Marcel Brauneis
2010 - 2012 Ben Draper
2012 - 2013 Andrew Prosser
2013 - 2014 Dale White
2014 - 2015 Paul Treacy
2015 - 2018 James Marshall
2018 - 2019 Darius James

US Tour 1989 - 1991

Dennis Courtney

Las Vegas 1993 - 1997

1993 - 1994 Andrew A. Currie
1994 - Paul Finoccharo
1996 - 1997 Todd Lester

US Tour 2003 - 2004

Russell Saylor

UK Tours 2004 - 2008

2004 - 2005 Paul Christopher
2006 - 2007 Adam Ellis
2007 - 2008 Glenn Robb

NZ Tour 2009

2009 Jared Pallesen

UK Tour 2012-2013

2012 - 2013 James Marshall