Starlight Express the Musical Wiki

Volta is Electra's freezer truck in Starlight Express. As part of the superstar's entourage, Volta is the Personal Assistant, closest to the boss, planned as his race partner in the original show.


As a freezer truck she is an ice queen - cold, aloof, elegant and beautiful. She does not speak apart from to insist that "Electra is Cool" - arguing with Joule who is her polar opposite - loud, impetuous and fiery. Although she is devoted to Electra, she is distracted by Greaseball singing "Pumping Iron", to his annoyance she, Joule and sometimes Wrench, leave their master to dance with his rival. In the original production, Volta was to race with Electra until she developed a "Headache" and Electra sent for Pearl instead. In later productions, Volta races with Hashamoto - an elegant couple, but did Volta really support a rival to her master in the race? She's certainly upset to lose mid-way along the track. But after the heat, Volta returns to her master's side, only appearing in his shadow.


In the London production, Volta was originally going to race with Electra until he decided he would rather have Pearl - In "Hitching and Switching" it was clear that Volta was Electra's partner, and Purse tells Pearl "His coach has a headache". In the Original production, "Pumping Iron" came before "AC/DC" in the running order, and as the Components had not yet been introduced, the actresses playing Volta and Joule also played 2nd and 3rd class sleepers to add extra dancers to the number.

Once the show went to Broadway, the running order was changed, and the Components danced "Pumping Iron". Volta went on to race with Hashamoto in Heat 1 in Bochum, but is disabled by Caboose. Volta screamed in anger when she was left behind by the racers.

In 2018, the Bochum production underwent significant revisions for the show's 30th anniversary. This included changing Volta's gender from female to male. His costume is only slightly altered, with grey leggings beneath the black chaps, and a smaller, "Emo" wig. Volta now races with Espresso in Heat 2.


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1984 - 1985 Voyd
1985 - 1986 Caron Cardelle
1986 - 1987 C. Jay Ranger
1987 - 1988 Ruth Welby
1988 - 1990 ?
1990 - 1991 Jo-Leigh Whelan
1991 - 1992 Nicky Lawson
1992 - 1993 Lyndi Oliver
1993 - 1994 Lyndi Oliver
1994 - 1995 Lyndi Oliver
1995 - 1996 Marissa Dunlop
1996 - 1997 Rebekka Gibbs
1997 - 1998 Stephanie Spellman
1998 - 1999 Danielle Harley
1999 - 2000 Amanda Valentine
2000 - 2001 Gabrielle Noble
2001 - 2002 Louise Jones


1987 - 1988 Mary Ann Lamb
1988 - 1989 Danielle Burgio

Japan / Australia Tours

1987 Amanda Abbs
1990 Leah-Sue Morland & Yuriko Takamori

Bochum, Germany

1988 - 1991 Leesa Osborn
1991 - 1992 Jacey Collins / Dawn Leigh Woods
1992 - 1994 Dawn Leigh Woods
1994 - 1996 Leesa Osborn
1996 - 1999 Christine Walsh
1999 - 2018 Dawn Leigh Woods
2018 - 2019 Anthony Starr
2019 - 2020 Anthony Cragg
2020 - 2021 Jayred Lempriere (Cancelled due to Covid)
2021 - 2023 Jayred Lempriere

US Tour 1989 - 1991

1989 - 1991 Kimberly A Gladman

Las Vegas 1993 - 1997

1993 - 1994 Anne M. Tiger
1994 - 1995 Kelly Love
1995 - 1996 ?
1996 - 1997 Paula Carlyle

US Tour 2003 - 2004

2003 - 2004 Suzanne Wogisch

UK Tours 2004 - 2008

2004 - 2005 Lauren Brooke
2006 - 2007 Rebecca Lisewski
2007 - 2008 Saskia Lockey

NZ Tour 2009

2009 Liv Wakem

UK Tour 2012-2013

2012 - 2013 Louise Lenihan
Asia 2013 Louise Lenihan


Freezers (technically called "refrigerator cars" and nicknamed "reefers") are diesel-powered. Fans may be curious as to why Volta is thus Electra's original race partner that Pearl replaced, but he could quite reasonably make an exception for a freezer. Volta is more than likely an "express reefer". Refrigerator cars carried perishable goods, and express reefers were designed to ride the high speeds of a passenger train. Volta would thus be able to handle the speed needed in a race.

Volta's (non-London) costume says "SHIP AND TRAVEL SANTA FE" on her left shoulder box and right leg. This is part of the slogan used by the Atchision, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (ATSF). The full slogan is "Ship and travel Santa Fe all the way". [1] It is possible they took it off the last part due to limited space. The Santa Fe Railway (now merged with the Burlington Norther to form the BNSF) was one of the most successful railroads in the United States, gaining a song that was sung by Judy Garland in the film The Harvey Girls and covered by well-known artists such as Bing Crosby and John Denver. The Santa Fe was one of the chief competitors with the Union Pacific, which may have accounted for the costume designer's decision to have Greaseball's chief rival, Electra, have a Santa Fe freezer (as well as a Santa Fe repair truck). However, unfortunate contradictions arise with this decision. Volta's outfit is black to match with Electra's color scheme, but ATSF refrigerator cars were often yellow or another bright color. Furthermore, the ATSF was located in the Western States whereas electric engines were almost exclusively used by eastern railroads. However, Volta is a toy rail car, and train model designs are not always accurate.