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.
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
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.
Cast and Creative Team
|Skate Coach||Wendy Gila|
|Musical Direction||Clinton Zerf|
|Costume design||Sarah Roberts|
|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|