Greaseball is the diesel engine from Starlight Express. He is the top dog of the train-yard, the reigning champion of the races, he is confident, suave, and a heart-breaker.
Being the desirable engine of the train-yard, all the coaches love him, but Dinah is his girlfriend. His character is quite deceptive, at first he appears cool and tough, but at the end he is quite thick as he spells "Sorry" wrong with three Rs. He leads an anonymous and faceless Gang who menace and intimidate Rusty and the Freight.
He is Control's favourite engine, with all his rule-breaking and foul play blithely ignored.
The original London production portrayed him as a darker character than he is today. He is portrayed as a champion who cheats, bullies, and maims his way to the finishing line. He beats up his girlfriend Dinah, ditches her when she complains about his behaviour, and humiliates her by saying over her head to CB that she is no longer his coach. However much of his behaviour has been toned down to his being an arrogant and thoughtless fool who learns his lesson, and is forgiven by Dinah.
Greaseball is the first major character we are introduced to. Clearly Control's favourite, Greaseball leads his gang in an anthem to show how powerful and brilliant they are ("Rolling Stock"). Rusty, interrupts their celebration of Diesel, and Greaseball and gang taunt Rusty about his dreams of racing in the championship ("Taunting Rusty") Control tells the racing engines to go rest, leaving Rusty to work shifting coaches and freight.
Greaseball returns to find an intruder bedazzling his train yard with flashy Electrics. He responds by making a point, he's "Pumping Iron" and all the girls adore him, even the new-comer Electric components can't resist him. The race comes down to a direct challenge, Greaseball the reigning champion against Electra with his cutting-edge technology. The rest of the competitors are simply making up the numbers.
Greaseball wins the first heat with his carriage, Dinah, but when she complains about his cheating with Caboose, he leaves her behind. After The Rap, Greaseball decides on her replacement - the pretty Pearl would make a great partner ("Pearl Twirl"). Caboose calls him, wanting to explain his plan - Caboose will partner with Rusty, and throw the race in Greaseball's favour. The Uphill Final only goes partially to plan, Rusty is wrecked by Caboose, but the race is called off when it devolves into a punch-up. Now Pearl knows about the scheme, and she has to be threatened to behave.
For the re-run, the Downhill Final, Greaseball is racing with the now unwilling Pearl, but his treacherous mate Caboose is now racing with Electra, and last minute, Rusty turns up with Dustin, but is hardly seen as a threat. But Pearl is distracted by Rusty, and Electra hits her with a lightning bolt, leaving her injured and a dead weight in the race, so Greaseball uncouples her, leaving her to fly off uncontrolled while he continues to race solo. However Greaseball's fighting with Electra, and Caboose's meddling, finally cause a crash before any of them cross the finish line, leaving Rusty and Dustin to win the race.
Thoroughly humiliated ("One Rock'n'Roll Too Many"), Greaseball has lost his championship, his respect from his gang, and his girlfriend. But tender-hearted Dinah accepts his somewhat stilted apology "Dinah, I'm S.O.R.R.R.Y". And Poppa suggests he could be converted to Steam - to join the winning side in the end.
|1984 - 1986||Jeff Shankley|
|1986 - 1989||Drue Williams|
|1989 - 1990||Maynard Williams|
|1990 - 1991||Nigel Casey|
|1991 - 1992||John Frances Davies|
|1992 - 1993||Mark Walker / Maynard Williams|
|1993 - 1994||Nigel Casey|
|1994 - 1996||Tony Rouse|
|1996 - 1997||Simon Marlow|
|1997 - 1998||Nigel Casey|
|1998 - 1999||Tony Rouse|
|1999 - 2001||Lez Dwight|
|2001 - 2002||Dustin Dubreuil|
|1987 - 1988||Robert Torti|
|1988 - 1989||John Schiappa|
Japan / Australia Tours
|1987||Troy A. Burgess|
|1988 - 1989||Paul Kribbe|
|1989 - 1991||Nigel Casey|
|1991 - 1992||Danny Metcalfe|
|1992 - 1993||Freddy Moretine / Drue Williams|
|1993 - 1995||Drue Williams|
|1995 - 1996||Drue Williams / Nigel Casey|
|1996 - 1997||Kent Sheridan|
|1997 - 1999||Drue Williams|
|1999 - 2001||Ernest Marchain|
|2001 - 2002||Nigel Casey|
|2002 - 2003||Drue Williams|
|2003 - 2004||Lez Dwight / Ernest Marchain|
|2004 - 2007||Chris Barron|
|2007 - 2011||Ernest Marchain|
|2011 - 2014||Andreas Wolfram|
|2014 - 2015||Matthew Goodgame|
|2015 - 2017||Michael Quinn|
|2017 - 2020||Ben Carruthers/ David Brown (Temp Due To Injury)|
|2020 - 2021||David Brown (Cancelled due to Covid)|
|2021 - 2022||David Brown|
US Tour 1989 - 1991
|1989 - 1991||Ron DeVito|
Las Vegas 1993 - 1997
|1993 - 1997||Rod Weber|
US Tour 2003 - 2004
|2003 - 2004||Drue Williams|
UK Tours 2004 - 2008
|2004 - 2008||Tom Kanavan|
NZ Tour 2009
UK Tour 2012-2013
|2012 - 2013||Jamie Capewell|
"The USA National, he dreams of winning the race. But the two things that stand in his way are Rusty, the steam train and his ex-rival Electra, the electric train. He even has a gang to keep him safe from any threat."
"Diesel" is slang for muscular.