Skip to main content /SHOWBIZ /SHOWBIZ

Star facts for 'Starlight'

The show has used up 12,755 eyeshadows and 10,750 makeup pencils
The show has used up 12,755 eyeshadows and 10,750 makeup pencils  

LONDON, England (CNN) -- Some facts about the Andrew Lloyd Webber roller-skating musical "Starlight Express," which closes in London on Saturday after 7,406 performances:

* "Starlight Express" opened on 27th March 1984. It is second only to "Cats" as the longest running musical in British theatre history. January 12 will see its 7,406th performance at London's Apollo Victoria Theatre.

* The lyrics were written by Richard Stilgoe with choreography by Arlene Phillips. The first director was Trevor Nunn.

* The London production has been seen by more than 8 million people. More than 16.5 million people have seen the show worldwide.

* The show has grossed more than 140 million ($200m) in London and 446 million ($641m) in all.

* New casts attend skate school prior to opening in the show. Skate school runs for 4 weeks prior to 7 weeks of vocal staging and choreography rehearsals.

* There have been eight productions since 1984 including London, New York, US/Canadian tour, Las Vegas, Japan, Australia/Japan tour, Germany and Mexico.

* "Scary Spice," Mel B of The Spice Girls, trained in the Skate School for Starlight Express in 1995. Saffron, lead singer for Republica, was in Starlight Express for two years.

* Troy Titus Adams, 'Nina' in the British TV series 'Eastenders' played Wrench in the show. P. P. Arnold, a member of the original cast is featured on the new Oasis album 'Standing on the Shoulders of Giants.' * One ticket tout, who has been outside the Apollo Victoria Theatre each weekend since the show opened, now has his grandson to help him.

* An Army video training film has Starlight Express as one of the London landmarks for orienteering.

* The theatre ghost, who has been seen since the theatre was a cinema, allegedly sits in Row Q, sometimes during the evening performances.

* The original production cost 2.25 million to mount. The bridge featured in the show weighs five and half tonnes.

* When the set was first built, 750 gallons of paint and varnish were used.

* 6 miles of timber, two and half acres of sheet wood and 60 tonnes of steel were used to construct the set, which includes 90,000 feet of trussing.

* There are 1,500 light bulbs on the set, 1,200 lanterns and 6,000 pea lights on the back wall of the set to create the star effect.

* The top speed recorded by a skater was 40 mph during a rehearsal.

* The track record is 1 minute and 33 seconds from top to bottom of the track (approximately 1/4 miles).

* 27,600 pairs of skate laces, 27,000 skate wheels and 23,000 toe stops have been used.

* 5,500 false eyelashes, 2,700 lipsticks, 14,000 cold creams, 12,755 eyeshadows, 12,750 paintsticks, 10,750 makeup pencils, 4,800 powders have been used during the run.

* The skaters have got through 1,200,000 boxes of tissues and 12,000 gallon bottles of water.

* Sally Bliault from Jersey, Channel Islands, has seen the show 800 times. Three generations of the Pearton family have watched the show every week for the last four years. The grand-daughter has skating lessons every week.

* Alan Newman, a postman from Kent, has seen the show 750 times and estimates he has spent 21,000.00 ($30,000). He always sits in the same seat -- Stalls L23.

Source: Really Useful Group


Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.



Back to the top