Purse is Electra's money truck in Starlight Express. He represents Electra's accountant - the money man, and is also used as Electra's messenger.
Purse is Electra's Money Truck, valuable and skilled. He is smooth, suave, elegant, and generally assumed to be second in command. He is often played as very camp, and arrogant. However his line to Pearl "Please come, I'll be fired if you don't" shows that he's not above begging when his career is on the line.
We first meet Purse in the introduction to AC/DC, as the components emerge from the dark, smokey stage. Purse is often seen mirroring Joule. Immediately following Electra's introduction, Greaseball enters to challenge the new-comer, and show off his testosterone-fuelled Rock compared to Electra's futuristic Electronic style. Electra and the Components move to the side of the stage as Greaseball takes centre-stage, but one by one he seduces the female Components away from their Master, much to Electra's fury. Often Purse spends the song trying to calm his Master, who is furious at this defection, but sometimes he is desperate to join the girls dancing, and it is up to Krupp to hold him back.
Purse next appears as Electra's messenger - sent to invite Pearl to race with Electra.
|Purse:||Pearl, you've been honoured, Pearl you've been chosen|
|Electra selected you for heat one!|
|Rusty:||He has a Coach!|
|Purse:||His coach has a headache.|
|Also he says you're second to none.|
|Please come, I'll be fired if you don't?|
|Pearl:||Can he Whistle?|
|Purse:||No! AC trains don't!|
|Pearl:||Rusty needs me, which way should I go?|
|Thank Electra, say, I'll let him know!|
Purse remains lurking on the edge of the stage, listening to Rusty and Pearl argue. Often he mimes his eavesdropping, and summons her as if pulling on a rope to get her to come with him. Once he's satisfied Pearl is at least in two minds about racing with Rusty, he leaves to report to his Master.
Electra's coach that Purse referred to, was originally Volta. The original production made it very clear who was lined up to race with who, which was also where the Components were named rather than introducing themselves by name in the AC/DC introduction. Also in the original production Electra raced in heat two, with the rhyming couplet "Also he says that he prefers you".
We next see Purse after the last of the heats has been won, as everyone argues about whether Poppa has the right to nominate his replacement or whether the place in the final should go to his runner-up. Purse, of course, supports Electra entirely. Pearl defects from Electra to Greaseball, leaving the Electrics furious and wrong-footed for the final race. Electra then sends Purse to invite Dinah, who's happy to come along, "unless Greaseball changes his mind!" Shortly after, Purse is accompanying Electra and Components when they meet Caboose, who explains his plans to wreck Greaseball in "Wide Smile".
Electra and Dinah never make a happy team, and soon after the Uphill Final is cancelled, Dinah disconnects Electra. Purse and the other Components try to keep him from losing his temper, as Electra summons Caboose to race with him instead. Purse is witness to Electra's humiliation as he loses the race, and ends up a mangled wreck along with Greaseball and Caboose. At the end of the show, Purse is free to choose his own future.
Purse is Electra's Money truck - his accountant. His costume invokes a smartly dressed, dapper appearance, with a form-fitting, black striped outfit. His original look included a red bow tie, wide shoulders that include windows with security grills over them, and an overall sleek appearance. He didn't wear a hat, but sometimes had a headband or wig. He wore black gloves with a silver "coin" on on the palms of his hands.
Purse's London costume remained much in this design until 1999, when he was given a minor overhaul to bring in elements of the Broadway-style costume. This was at the same time as Wrench getting a major costume change. The main alteration was his shoulders, which gained the metallic plating and "ARMOURED" text (with the English spelling of course). His bodysuit was also simplified from previous incarnations. Purse's final London incarnation removed the text from the costume and had a more defined shape to the shoulders.
The Broadway design gave Purse a more exaggerated, mechanical look, in line with all the costume redesigns. He gained a metallic panelled hat, designed to suggest hair that has been shaved from the sides and left longer at the top. He loses the bow tie in favour of a diamond-studded collar, and his bodysuit is made more prominently striped. His shoulder boxes became more structural with the larger budget offering more technical costume builds. The Broadway design is one of the few male characters to not feature a prominent codpiece - generally the codpiece is an important design element in that it delineates the joints, essential for the mechanical movement. However Purse has bands around his groin and thighs, which serve the same general purpose in highlighting the joint between leg and body. The US/UK Tours gave Purse a combined belt/codpiece, which completely changes the focus to his body. In 2012 his hat was changed from the normal metallic panelled hat to a more complex design featuring a crest not unlike a Roman Centurion, and more complex patterning on the skullcap.
- Koffi Missah
- Robin Wright
- Gary Cordice
- Stephen Russell
- Robert Yeal
- Marco Ferraro
- Sandy Rass
- Stuart Sweeting
- David Hulston
- Sebastian Craig
- Martin Matthias
- Todd Talbot
First US Tour
- Christopher Todd
- Hans Langen
- Marco Kraemer
- Robert Hardware
- Gary Albers
- Tobby Lee Hutaff
- Mike Jackson
- James Whittington
- Michael Clauder
- Steven Seale
- Gianni Salvucci
- Ian Oswald
- Reginald H. Jennings
- Paul Shipp
- Cary Chennell
- Erick Frias
- Brent Frank
Second US tour
New Zealand Tour