Starlight Express the Musical Wiki

Wrench is Electra's repair truck, one of the Components, in Starlight Express.


Electra's repair truck is usually the most straight-forward and aggressive of the female components. Where Volta is an ice queen and Joule is animal sensuality, Wrench is butch, practical, lacking any feminine softness about her. She is a character not to be crossed. She is Electra's repair truck, a trained medic on hand at all times who knows how to break bodies as well as repair them.

Whenever cast issues have required that a male swing covers a female role, it is usually Wrench who becomes male. This became so common that between 2005-2010 in the Bochum production that Wrench was cast male, and covered by both male and female swings. Male Wrench struggles in personality, as he lacks distinguishing characteristics; where female Wrench is the most masculine of the female components, male Wrench is aggressive but not as aggressive as Krupp. He is effeminate to a degree, but not as elegant and sensual as Purse. He still dances "Pumping Iron" with the girls, but is ignored by Greaseball.


In the Original Production, we first meet Wrench after Pumping Iron, as Control calls the final entries for the race, and the power drains. Out of the dark shoot lasers, and the Components emerge from the smoke, talking in code. Finally their master appears (AC/DC), Electra, the engine of the future, a composite made from the sum of all the parts of the Components. Wrench is often seen mirroring Krupp.

Control calls the Racers forward, each to choose their race partner, and Wrench hooks up with Turnov - this can be construed as part of a master plan by Electra to weaken the competition by having his own people racing with them. However generally the Components are seen to be genuinely supportive of their engines and hope to win. In the original race structure, Turnov and Wrench raced in Heat 3, and were beaten by Poppa and Dustin. The humiliation.

In the huge argument following Poppa's qualification for the final (The Rap), Wrench of course obeys and follows her Master, and she is horrified when Pearl leaves him for Greaseball. The Components are, as ever, adoringly following Electra as he meets with Caboose and learns of his nefarious schemes (Wide Smile). Wrench is relegated to the sidelines during the Uphill Final, as the race ends in a dead heat. Some time later, we see Electra and his new race partner, Dinah, an unhappy team, and just before the re-run of the final race, Dinah disconnects Electra. Wrench and the Components are right there, yet Electra chooses to race with Caboose at the last minute, giving the treacherous brake van a place in the final.

Between Electra's arrogance, Greaseball's violence, and Caboose's insane meddling, Rusty and Dustin take the lead and win the race! Furious and humiliated, Electra throws a tantrum and swears he'll never be seen there again (No Comeback), leaving his Components behind. But they're present to witness the pitiful train wreck that is what remains of Greaseball and Caboose (One Rock & Roll Too Many), and find the happily ever after of "Light at the End of the Tunnel".

In later versions of the show, AC/DC is before Pumping Iron, which means the female components are swayed away from Electra to dance with Greaseball. Wrench dances with Greaseball even when male. In the later London show, Wrench and Turnov raced in Heat 2. In the German show, Wrench did not race until 2018, when she took over from Volta racing with the Japanese Engine, now named Manga.


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1984 - 1987 Carole Amphlett
1987 - 1988 Zoe Caryl
1988 - 1989 ?
1989 - 1990 Samantha Lane
1990 - 1991 Troy Adams
1991 - 1992 Michelle Anne Musty
1992 - 1993 Samantha Biddulph
1993 - 1994 Sophie Hamilton
1994 - 1995 Tara Wilkinson
1995 - 1996 Jane Housley
1996 - 1998 Sharon Mudie
1998 - 1999 Pippa Gebette
1999 - 2000 Amy Field
2000 - 2002 Kate Alexander


1987 - 1988 Christina Youngman
1988 - 1989 Stacey Heinz

Japan / Australia Tours

1987 Louise Conte
1990 Miwako Montani

Bochum, Germany

1988 - 1989 Louise Conte
1989 - 1990 Annemiek Kloek / Dawn Leigh Woods
1990 - 1991 Dawn Leigh Woods
1991 - 1992 Nicky Forsyth
1992 - 1994 Andrea Leslie
1994 - 1995 Jill Marie Pergl
1995 - 1996 Juliette Verne
1996 - 1997 Melanie Housley
1997 - 1998 Ruth Anderson
1998 - 1999 Giorgia Barberi
1999 - 2000 Kirsty Wone
2000 - 2001 Kati Heidebrecht
2001 - 2003 Emma Nelson
2003 - 2004 Melissa Keyes
2004 - 2005 Rebecca Lisewski
2005 - 2006 Peelee
2006 - 2007 Michael Byrne
2007 - 2009 Marc McFadyen
2009 - 2011 Joe Ryan
2011 - 2012 Lauren Hearnden Mayer
2012 - 2013 Sophie Ellis
2013 - 2014 Tabitha Camburn
2014 - 2015 Melanie Brown
2015 - 2016 Samara Casteallo
2016 - 2017 Helen Petrovna
2017 - 2018 Hannah Kiss
2018 - 2019 Aisha Numah
2019 - 2020 Halimah Kyrgios
2020 - 2021 Janice Rijssel (Cancelled due to Covid)
2021 - 2022 Janice Rijssel

US Tour 1989 - 1991

1989 - 1991 Renee Chambers

Las Vegas 1993 - 1997

1993 - 1994 Natasha Rannalls
1994 - 1995 Nicole Discola
1995 - 1996 ?
1996 - 1997 Sheri Kush

US Tour 2003 - 2004

2003 - 2004 Robyn Hurder

UK Tours 2004 - 2008

2004 - 2005 Ruthie Stephens
2006 - 2007 Bekki Carpenter
2007 - 2008 Amy Webb

NZ Tour 2009

2009 Hannah Kee

UK Tour 2012-2013

2012 - 2013 Sarah Riches
Asia 2013 Sarah Riches


In the Bochum and Broadway productions, Wrench is shown to be a crane car. Like refrigerator cars, cranes are diesel-powered. Understandably, Electra would still include her in his train.

Crane cars are sometimes known as "big hooks" by railroaders.