Starlight Express the Musical Wiki

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.


Bums on Blue Peter!


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.


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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
1990 Danny Metcalfe

Bochum, Germany

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

2009 Matthew Cutts

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.