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The Joburg Theatre production of Starlight Express was ground-breaking as the first licensed, professional non-replica production. The show used material in line with the 2012 UK Tour, featuring Duvay, four Nationals, Traxes etc, with live staged races on an original design set.

Production Specifics Edit

At last, one of the best loved and longest running musicals in theatrical history explodes onto the South African stage with a brand new production helmed by acclaimed, award-winning director JANICE HONEYMAN.
ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER’s sensational STARLIGHT EXPRESS races to The Mandela at Joburg Theatre for a strictly limited season July 2nd - September 1st 2013.Joburg Theatre Press Release

Starlight Express new layout (2)

Theatre layout for the Mandela Theatre production of "Starlight Express"

The show opened with "Control", a young boy, onstage playing with his train set, in a departure from the usual staging of Control being a recorded voice-over. Although Krupp is not included in the licensed UK Tour version of the show, Hip Hopper 3 doubled to provide an extra Component for AC/DC. The production also included "The Starlight Express" onstage, giving Poppa's actor a new costume in silver. The swings featured onstage as extra carriages and Marshalls.

As the first licenced, non-replica production this show had "Carte blanche" with the design. The set design featured premium on-stage seating, creating an in-the-round performance space. As seen in the video simulation, the set design contained easter eggs on the theme of the train design, with the overhead plan resembling an oncoming steam train. Similar to the UK Tour, the set included two small mobile ramps.

The costume design intentionally scaled back the larger-than-life "Train" elements of John Napier's work, aiming for a human scale, character-led interpretation. However the end result didn't seem to have an overall sense of direction, but gave the impression of pieces pulled from a generic modern wardrobe while working on a very limited budget. Although the costume designs did not include belts, the "handles" were included as essential to skating in train formation. Also, while the base costumes kept the feel of regular street clothes, many characters added "Race Packs" to their costumes for the races.

Starlight Express at Joburg Theatre - Stage Design 201302:09

Starlight Express at Joburg Theatre - Stage Design 2013

Cast and Creative Team Edit

Director Janice Honeyman
Choreographer Karen Bruce
Assistant Elliot Nixon
Skate Coach Wendy Gila
Musical Direction Clinton Zerf
Ataging James MacNamara
Costume design Sarah Roberts
Role Cast Role Cast
Rusty David Schlachter Pearl Carly Graeme
Greaseball Andrew Webster Dinah Ziyanda Yako
Electra Ferdinand Gernandt Buffy Trudy Fredericks
Poppa Bongi Mthombeni Duvay Joanna Abazoglou
Hopper 1 Brandon Lindsay Purse Vanessa Brierley
Hopper 2 Jarryd Nurden Wrench Stefania du Toit
Hopper 3 Clint Lesch (Krupp) Volta Dionne Song
Flat-top Zak Hendrikz Joule Pulane Rampoana
Dustin Weslee Swain Lauder Trax Frank Joubert
Caboose Michael Riff Themba Trax
Ruhrgold Keaton Ditchfield Swing Michelle Lane
Turnov Martin van Heerden Swing Jerome Julies
Nintendo Reg Hart Swing Nicol Sheraton (Dance Captain)
Prince Stefan Carstens Swing Xola Willie
Swing Diani Gernandt (Dance Captain) (Control's Mother) blog

Gallery Edit

Video Edit

Starlight Express wows Joburg04:17

Starlight Express wows Joburg

Starlight Express Joburg - Behind the Scenes

A rolling good time with Starlight Express (FULL INSERT)04:05

A rolling good time with Starlight Express (FULL INSERT)

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