Andrew Lloyd Webber's roller skating spectacular, Starlight Express, is on tour this year and coming to Eastbourne's Congress Theatre at the end of February. I'm intrigued by the poster gimmick announcing "Spectacular 3D" - surely all live theatre is 3D?!
Starlight Express first opened in London in 1984 and was a great success. Choreographed by Arlene Philips, the show's lyricist was Richard Stilgoe who also provided the lyrics for the National Theatre's recent production of The Magistrate. Starlight Express was revised in 1993 when the show was relaunched with extra new songs and new choreography. The last national UK tour was in 2004 and the show has also been produced in America, Australia and in a specially adapted theatre in Bochum, Germany where it is particularly popular.
When a young child falls asleep, he dreams that his toy train set comes to life, each engine striving to become the 'fastest engine in the world'. The diesel locomotive Greaseball is the reigning champion but his supremacy is threatened by Electra, the engine of the future, and by Rusty, an old steam engine. Other characters include Pearl, the observation car, Buffy, the buffet car and a new engine for the 2012 tour, Duvay the sleeper car. In a sign of the times, Duvay replaces Ashley the smoking car.
Congress Theatre, Wed 27th Feb to Sat 9th Mar, 19:30.
Thu and Sat matinees, 14:30. No show on Sun 3rd Mar.
Tickets various prices, available online, by calling 01323 412000, or in person at the Box Office and the Tourist Information Office.