Starlight Express Musical Review

Enjoy Celebrity Radio’s Starlight Express Musical Review…..

Starlight Express was the first musical I ever saw in the West End. 30 years later this show is still as powerful, timeless & well written as it ever was.

This touring production does not (and cannot) have the incredible Victoria Apollo set, but, what it lacks in the original spectacle it makes up for in energy, lighting, costume, performance & volume.

If I’m being very honest I feel this production lacks some of the warmth, heart and soul of the original play, it is after all a love story which is somewhat lost by this re-written, more upbeat & re-orchestrated production. The PA is the loudest I’ve heard at any musical (even Grease), so if you’ve got aids, you may wish to turn them down….or off!

The lighting is exceptional and the choreography is obviously in a league of its own….as it should be.

The show is also very funny although I wonder if some of the more subtle lines including “I’m AC/DC, I go both ways” was lost on the audience. Nevertheless, it made me titter. It is refreshing to find a musical that you can take all age groups to, everyone can find something to enjoy.

I want to give huge credit to Kris Harding who has an extraordinary presence, charisma & powerful voice. In my opinion Kris made the show real, interesting, moving and most important of all, breath-taking with his two beautifully delivered 11 O’clock numbers. He appears to have been made for this hugely challenging roll and delivered with exceptional precision. I cannot praise his phenomenal performance enough.

As if singing through this high energy production wasn’t hard enough, all of the cast perform the entire show on roller-skates which beautifully illustrates the point of the show. Their grace and movement is incredible in places. The choreography is made much more difficult by the relatively small stage and huge cast. The skating was floorless throughout so Bravo to all involved!

I would also like to mention Amanda Coutts who also has an exception talent, I only wish we got to hear more of her stunning voice in the show. It’s a great shame ‘Only He’ (the second most famous song from the show) got cut from this production.

Nevertheless, Kris and Amanda gave an exceptional performance of the replacement by Lord Webber, ‘I do’, and rightly deserve the loudest and most adoring applause at the end.

Kris Manuel & Jamie Capewell also made their roles unique and delivered with great character.

It was a great shame that at my performance Lothair Eaton was not in the show. ‘Poppa’s’ gravity is so important to the piece and he was missed big-time in my view.

Overall, if you’re looking for a feel good, high energy night out with some amazing solo performances with brilliant costumes and a funny script, you’ll love Starlight Express on tour across the UK.

Starlight runs at the Nottingham Royal Concert Hall until 2nd September 2012.

Our press night performance in Nottingham was made extra special by an unexpected marriage proposal at the end which finished the night off perfectly.

Review by Alex Belfield for Celebrity Radio.

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