Excellent skaters sing and dance in thrilling production

Contributed pic for Sussex Express Starlight Express review by Amanda Wilkins lsjs Sussex Express ENTS, March 9, 2013

Contributed pic for Sussex Express Starlight Express review by Amanda Wilkins lsjs Sussex Express ENTS, March 9, 2013

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It is hard to believe Starlight Express arrived in London 29 years ago and played for 18 years, making it one of the longest-running musicals ever.

Now the trains have arrived in Eastbourne for a stunning new production, which plays at the Congress Theatre until Saturday, March 9.

The only difference between this show and the original is the race between the trains takes place in 3D on the screen seen through the glasses handed to the audience as they arrive.

In London the actors actually raced round the auditorium on a track, which is too time-consuming and expensive to erect at touring theatres.

But this does not detract from the excitement of the show which is a tribute to the old steam engines of the past.

Not only do the talented cast sing and dance they perform the whole show on roller skates and excellent skaters they are too.

The hero is Rusty who represents steam and has to skate against the high-powered trains like the Japanese bullet train, the former World Champion the American train and Electra, the train of the future.

Rusty is the lynch pin of the show and Kristofer Harding is superb in the role. He has a great voice and a first class skater.

His rendition of Starlight Express brought tears to the eyes of the audience.

His love interest Pearl, the dining car is also well portrayed by Amanda Coutts and Lothair Eaton is very moving as Poppa, the original steam train who exhausts himself in the heat to qualify for the final which is why Rusty takes his place.

This is a show that will thrill you, move you and have you going home singing There is Light at the 3end of the Tunnel. Catch it if you can.