Published On: Tue, Jul 9th, 2024
Entertainment | 2,313 views

Starlight Express first reviews call Lloyd Webber revival ‘hugely impressive’ | Theatre | Entertainment

Starlight Express first hit stages in the UK and around the world back in the 1980s.

First brought to life by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, the production follows the journey of some make-believe trains racing one another in an exciting highway of musical entertainment.

This year, the show has been resurrected by Luke Sheppard, who is best known for bringing such productions to the West End as & Juliet and The Little Big Things.

And he’s brought it back in the biggest way he possibly could. Being hosted at The Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre, the all-new Starlight Express features dozens of actors roller-skating across a custom-built stage and set to demonstrate their roller-skating skills.

And the first few reviews have just hit the internet with some exciting takes on how the musical is shaping up.

The Daily Mail gave Starlight Express a glowing four-star review, describing it as “impossible to take serious”.

“But…who cares?” they went on. “Imagine, instead, being stuck inside a supersized Scalextric track, around which the cast, dressed as a futuristic cavalcade, flash by: singing, criss-crossing at high speed, but never quite crashing. Above them, projections of inter-stellar railway lines weave a galactic spaghetti junction and luminous planets descend like gigantic space hoppers.

“Hugely impressive as it may be, it’s more like a trip to the circus than the theatre – and very much one for the school holidays.”

The Guardian also gave it a powerful four-star review. “If it divided audiences back then,” they wrote. “Becoming cult viewing for some, rusty machinery for others, this production will most likely do the same.”

The Guardian went on: “Several degrees weirder than Cats, tailor-made for the Troubadour’s massive auditorium, it erupts like a Vesuvius of light, sound, projection and dry ice under the direction of Luke Sheppard.”

The NY Times wrote: “Today, ‘Starlight Express’ takes its place on the nostalgia circuit, where questions of artistic merit are secondary to vibes. On social media this week, British theatergoers who saw the show as children in the ‘80s have been posting excitedly about their plans to take their own kids to see this new production. The gravy train rolls on; full steam ahead.”

The Independent put out a positive four-star review, as well, writing: “It’s full on, it’s fun, and it’s for kids. And did I mention they’re on roller skates?”

Not every review was positive, however. 

Variety wrote: “Musically, the new songs add little. A blues number for Momma is character-appropriate but, like the score’s weaker moments, sadly generic.”

Tickets for Starlight Express are out right now from a number of online retailers, including LOVETheatre, where you can grab tickets for just £34.80. 

Here’s the link you need: 

LOVETHEATRE – Buy Starlight Express tickets now

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