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The British Engine is a genial, avuncular character who bumbles through the show. He arrives late and breaks down before he can enter the race. That is, if he ever turns up at all...

History

Originally the British engine was the "City of Milton Keynes", an Advanced Passenger Train. His costume was based on this train. His reason for failure has varied according to the history of British Rail. The Advanced Passenger Train project was enormously expensive and futile, with the trains never making it into full production. His excuse in the New London production was "Due to staffing difficulties", the UK Tour is delayed "Due to the wrong kind of weather". The Las Vegas show claimed "Due to the Royal family changing tracks".

He became the "Prince of Wales", the Royal Train when the Broadway production opened, providing a source of jokes at the expense of the British Royal family.

As a non-racing character he was not included in the Japan/Australia tours. He did not appear in the 1989 US Tour, but was reinstated for the 1993 Las Vegas production.

The British engine was added to the German production in 2018 as part of the 30th anniversary rewrites, named "Brexit". The costume design's gold and purple tie nods to British politician Nigel Farage, who, as leader of the UK Independence Party (Ukip) was instrumental in pushing for the Brexit referendum.

Role

The British engine arrives late, and skates in backwards, laughing at his own mistake. He partners with Rocky 1 for the race, however he is scrapped before he can compete, allowing Poppa to take his place. He is usually seen again for the finale.

The actor who plays the British engine spends most of the show as a member of Greaseball's gang or a track marshal.

Appearance

The London design was "British Racing Green" with yellow accents, with details of the union flag on his chest and the British Rail symbol incorporated into the costumes. John Napier's original design gives him a flying hat, a leather cap as seen on aviation pilots and early motorists, however in production the specific design references in his cap are somewhat lost under the details; the London costumes gave all the Nationals the same basic striped caps, and the Broadway costume added enough silver details to obscure the classic leather appearance of a flying hat.

The Broadway design, also used for the US/UK Tours, painted him silver, losing the reference to the specific shade of green. Broadway, Las Vegas and the tours made his colors look more like the APT than London. Otherwise the costume was accurate to the original design, a large, bulky, distinctive costume for a character with very little stage time.

Brexit's costume consists of a flat cap, a UKIP purple and gold tie with a white shirt collar, and elements of the original design in "British Racing Green". He is also the only National engine to appear in a deliberately dirty, broken down costume, typically British self-deprecating humour from the creative team. Bochum used a hybrid of London and Broadway racing masks with him being painted in what looks like GWR livery.

Gallery

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Cast

London

City of Milton Keynes

1984 - 1986 Raymond Hatfield
1986 - 1987 Geoffrey Abbott
1987 - 1988 Kevyn Waby
1988- 1989 unkown
1989 - 1990 unkown
1990 - 1992 Sean O'Sullivan

Prince of Wales

1992 - 1993 Matthew Cutts
1993 - 1995 Jason Capewell
1995 - 1998 Marvin Giles
1998 - 1999 Neil Dale
1999 - 2000 Neil Dale / Adrian Smith
2000 - 2001 Ben Clare
2001 - 2002 Martin Neely

Broadway

1987 - 1989 Sean McDermott

Japan / Australia Tours

(Cut)

Bochum, Germany

2018 - 2019 Anthony Cragg (As Brexit)
2019 - 2020 Jack Hinton
2020 - 2021 Reece Kerridge

US Tour 1989 - 1991

(Cut)

Las Vegas 1993 - 1997

1993 - 1994 Steven Kent Dry
1994 - Mark Moschello
1996 - 1997 Sheldon Craig
1997 - close Tony Torres

US Tour 2003 - 2004

2003 - 2004 Jared Lee

UK Tours 2004 - 2008

2004 - 2005 Adam Floyd
2006 - 2007 Gareth Davis
2007 - 2008 Mark Hedges

NZ Tour 2009

2009 Robert Enari

UK Tour 2012-2013

2012 - 2013 Tristan Adams
Asia 2013 David Allwood