A Shiny Life For Me!

a personal review blog by Bianca

Starlight Express

Starlight Express
09 June 2024
Troubadour Wembley Theatre
4.0 out of 5.0 stars

The Starlight Express is roaring into London and causing a stir! This well known classic of musical theatre is finally returning in a large, sparkling production on a stunning stage in Wembley.

The famously all-rollerskating production (though for this new run, the Trax are outfitted with little scooters they show off various tricks with) has a very simple but adorable story.

A young train obsessed child, Control, dreams of a fantastic race in which their trains face off against each other to crown the big champion. Rusty, a young steam engine, is struggling with being obsolete in modern railway technology, but still dreams of winning the race. Pearl, a first class observation car, sets out to find her dream train to ride with. Reigning champion Greaseball, a loud and arrogant Diesel engine who is full of themselves and goes to great lengths to prove their superiority, and Electra, a modern electric train who believes they are the future of the railways and seek to prove this to all the other trains in the race. The trains also have a variety of different cars they have to work with to stand a chance of winning the races, there really isn’t much more to the story.

As with most older Webber musicals, it feels a little like a fever dream that might not hold up to sober scrutiny, but the dazzling visuals alone absolutely convince and make it more than worthwhile.

Bright and shining costumes, strong but funny personalities placed onto engines and train cars, rivalries and romance, and of course stunning skating throughout the show, it’s a visual feast for the senses. As long as you don’t think too deeply into the details in the plot, it’s a highly entertaining show that shows what technology, costumery, choreography, and very skilled performers can achieve when they work in harmony to dazzle an audience. You’ll definitely not want to miss this revival!

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