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For Immediate Release
Top-Notch West End Artists to Star in
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Musical-on-Roller-Skates
(Hong Kong, 9 September 2013) From the creator of The Phantom Of The Opera, CATS and Evita
comes Andrew Lloyd Webber’s STARLIGHT EXPRESS, which will explode onto the Hong Kong stage in
October, direct from a sell-out UK tour. Renowned for having its actors perform on roller-skates, the
musical’s South-East Asian Premiere will open at the Lyric Theatre, the Hong Kong Academy for
Performing Arts, on 4 October for a strictly limited season before moving to the Marina Bay Sands in
The full cast for STARLIGHT EXPRESS’ Hong Kong season was recently announced following auditions
in London. The lead roles are filled by some of the most seasoned West End artists, including:
Julian Cannonier as Poppa, an old retired steam engine;
Mykal Rand as Electra, a brand new electric train;
Kristofer Harding in the role of Rusty the steam train;
Jamie Capewell as Greaseball the diesel train; and
Leanne Garretty playing Pearl the observation car.
“You have to see it, and you still won’t believe it”
The Daily Telegraph, UK
James Cundall, CEO of Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, says, “We are bringing to Asia, with Hong
Kong being the first stop, a first-class production of STARLIGHT EXPRESS, featuring top-notch West
End artists. It is total energy from start to finish, and tells a moving story that connects with audiences of
all ages.”
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical-on-roller-skates is one of the best-loved, longest-running and most
unique musicals in theatrical history. Light years ahead of the rest, STARLIGHT EXPRESS is a futuristic
tale about love, rivalry and hope in the face of adversity, delivering two hours of speed, energy, 3D
spectacle, daredevil stunts and turbo-charged excitement.
Originally conceived as a cartoon story for his own children, Lloyd Webber’s masterpiece tells the story of
a child’s dream, in which toy trains come to life and compete to become the fastest engine in the world,
while also competing for the affections of the glamorous coaches with whom they must ‘couple-up’.
Starlight Express press release
Page Two
“A musical that surpasses everything around in every dimension”
The Daily Express, UK
With the entire cast of 28 on roller-skates, STARLIGHT EXPRESS continues to astound audiences with
its speed and skill, showcasing extraordinary roller-choreography from the renowned West End
choreographer Arlene Phillips. The story hurtles along against a backdrop of high-tech staging, 3D
projection, special effects and a pulsating score. The high-voltage Lloyd Webber/David Yazbek
soundtrack draws inspiration from numerous music styles, from rhythm and blues, rock ‘n’ roll, jazz, rap,
country and western, and contemporary pop acts.
The challenge of designing and creating costumes that resemble different types of trains, while providing
full movement and a degree of protection for the actor, resulted in ground-breaking designs. The show’s
dazzling costumes and sets, by the legendary West End designer John Napier, have won numerous
awards – two Drama Desk Awards, for Outstanding Set Design and for Outstanding Costume Design in
1987, and the Tony Award for Best Costume Designer in 1987.
The original West End production of STARLIGHT EXPRESS electrified the theatre world in 1984, running
for almost 18 years. Since then there have been a further seven major productions, including Broadway,
USA/Canada Tour, Las Vegas, Japan, Australia/Japan Tour, Mexico and Germany, where the show is
still running after 25 years. So far more than 25 million people worldwide have enjoyed a thrilling ride
This production of STARLIGHT EXPRESS comes direct from a highly successful UK tour. It is produced
by Bill Kenwright by special arrangement with The Really Useful Group in association with Lunchbox
Theatrical Productions.
Don’t miss the Hong Kong debut of this legendary Andrew Lloyd Webber musical – it’s time to buckle up
for the trip of a lifetime!
“Extremely impressive, superb; it is a real knock-out”
The British Theatre Guide, UK
Starlight Express press release
Page Three
About the Principals of STARLIGHT EXPRESS
Julian Cannonier playing Poppa, an old retired yet wise steam engine
Born in Yorkshire, England, Julian has appeared in many musical theatre productions in
London’s West End, around the United Kingdom and on international tours. Julian grew up
appearing in the West End, making his debut at an early age as Cagey Joe in the original
production of Bugsy Malone. After this followed shows such as Annie Get Your Gun, Starlight
Express, Five Guys Named Moe, Miss Saigon, Dancing In The Streets, 125 Street, Sister Act
with Whoopie Goldberg, and Sir Trevor Nunn’s production of Porgy And Bess. He was lucky
enough to go on tour with many of these shows, both around the UK and internationally. Other
appearances include Scar in The Lion King at Disneyland Paris, Oh! What A Night, A Tribute To
The Blues Brothers, The Magic Of Musicals and Tapping Harlem.
Mykal Rand playing Electra, a brand new state-of-the-art electric engine
Mykal is a veteran performer with Starlight Express. He has worked on this new production in
the UK as associate director, associate choreographer and recreating the role of Electra. This
is familiar territory for Mykal, having performed in Starlight Express in London, Japan,
Germany, UK Tour and New Zealand Tour, where he was also associate director and
associate choreographer. Parts played include Rusty, Poppa and Electra. Mykal can also be
heard on the new soundtrack of Starlight Express from Bochum in Germany, where he was
recently asked to perform the role of Electra for the 25th Anniversary celebration. Mykal has
just finished directing and choreographing a production of the musical Grease for Festival
Kristofer Harding playing Rusty, a shy and naïve steam engine who is in love with Pearl
Kristofer has performed the principal roles of Roger in Grease in the West End’s Piccadilly
Theatre and Jamie in the London Premiere of The Last Five Years at the off-West End venue
The Menier Chocolate Factory.
He is a seasoned performer with Starlight Express having
played the role of Rusty in the UK and Scandinavian Tours 2008-09 and 2012-13. Kristofer has
most recently been performing backing vocals for Josh Groban on his sell-out UK tour. He
graduated from Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts with a First Class Honours in his BA
Musical Theatre degree.
Jamie Capewell playing Greaseball, an Elvis look-alike diesel engine
Jamie has performed the lead role of Danny and the principal role of Kenickie in the West End
production of Grease and on UK Tour. He is a highly experienced performer in Starlight
Express having played the role of Greaseball and been Skate Captain on the UK Tour, and
played Dustin/Greaseball in Bochum, Germany. Jamie’s other musical theatre credits include
Will Scarlett in Robin Hood (Bradford Alhambra) and Elvis in Elvis the Musical. Jamie trained
at The London School of Musical Theatre after completing a National Diploma in Performing
Leanne Garretty playing Pearl, an observation car who can’t make up her mind
Leanne is no stranger to Starlight Express having played numerous female leading roles in
Bochum, Germany, including Dinah, Pearl, Joule, Buffy and Ashley. Her other musical theatre
credits include: Scaramouche in We Will Rock You (UK Tour), Disney's High School Musical
(UK Tour), Aladdin (Theatre Royal, Windsor), and The Jazz Dance Company (UK Tour).
Leanne was the recipient of the Merrifield Award for all-round performer and for most
outstanding performance in the The Jazz Dance Company. She trained at London Studio
Starlight Express press release
Page Four
About the Creative Team of STARLIGHT EXPRESS
STARLIGHT EXPRESS is created and composed by Grammy® award winning Andrew Lloyd Webber, directed and
choreographed by Arlene Phillips CBE, with lyrics by Richard Stilgoe and additional lyrics by David Yazbeck. Set
and costume designs are by John Napier, orchestrations by David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber, the show’s
musical director is Tom De Keyser and 3D film scenes are by Julian Napier.
Andrew Lloyd Webber, Creator and Composer
Andrew Lloyd Webber is the composer of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat® , Jesus Christ
Superstar, Evita, CATS, Starlight Express, The Phantom of the Opera, Sunset Boulevard, The Woman in White and
Love Never Dies. As well as many of his own shows his producer credits include his smash hit productions of The
Sound of Music and The Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium. His awards include seven Tonys, three Grammys
including Best Contemporary Classical Composition for Requiem, seven Oliviers, a Golden Globe, an Oscar, two
International Emmys, the Praemium Imperiale, the Richard Rodgers Award for Excellence in Musical Theatre and
the Kennedy Center Honor. He currently owns six London theatres, including the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, and
the London Palladium. He was knighted in 1992 and created an honorary life peer in 1997.
Arlene Phillips, Director and Choreographer
Arlene Phillips CBE is a celebrated choreographer and showbiz legend. She has worked with stars from film and TV,
theatre and arenas, and has become one of Britain’s favourite television judges. Her choreography for hit musicals
includes The Wizard of Oz, Starlight Express, Flashdance, The Sound of Music, Grease, We Will Rock You and
Saturday Night Fever. Arlene has worked on films from Annie to Monty Python’s Meaning of Life. She has created
iconic videos for stars Freddie Mercury, Whitney Houston, Elton John, Queen, Diana Ross, Tina Turner, The Bee
Gees, Duran Duran, Aretha Franklin, Boy George, Joan Jett, Kiss, George Michael, Cliff Richard and Robbie
Williams. As a TV judge on So You Think You Can Dance, Strictly Come Dancing and Over The Rainbow Arlene has
become a showbiz legend honoured by the Queen.
John Napier, Set and Costume Designer
John Napier studied Fine Art at Hornsey College of Art in the early 1960s and subsequently theatre design at the
Central School of Arts and Crafts under Ralph Koltai. His musical theatre credits include: CATS, Starlight Express,
Les Misérables, Miss Saigon and Sunset Boulevard. He is also an Associate Designer of the Royal Shakespeare
Company. Notable productions for the RSC include Macbeth, The Comedy of Errors, King Lear, Once In A Lifetime,
The Greeks, Nicholas Nickleby, Hedda Gabler, Peter Pan and Mother Courage. John Napier’s design awards
include two Society of West End Theatre awards, an Olivier, a BAFTA, and five Tony Awards for Nicholas Nickleby,
CATS, Starlight Express, Les Misérables and Sunset Boulevard. Mr. Napier is a member of the American Academy
of Achievement, was elected Royal Designer for Industry in 1996 and is an Honorary Fellow of the London Institute.
Julian Napier, 3D Film Director
Julian Napier has been at the forefront of live S3D production for almost a decade, working both in the UK and the
USA. His S3D adventures actually began when he directed the stereoscopic race movies for Starlight Express back
in 2003. His most recent credits include the very successful London Eye 4D Experience, which he wrote and
directed for Merlin Entertainments in 2009 and which is in permanent residence at County Hall in London. That
same year he worked with SKY Television as a consultant 3D specialist in the development of their 3D channel. His
creative flair and vast technical knowledge of 3D cement his position as one of the foremost 3D directing talents in
the UK.
Michal Fraley, Skating Consultant
Michal began roller-skating at the age of seven. He started teaching at 19. Michal was appointed to train the original
Broadway cast of Starlight Express in New York and since then, has trained over 750 performers for seven
productions around the world. Michal was the Skate Director for the 3D film in this production of Starlight Express.
Starlight Express press release
Page Five
About Lunchbox Theatrical Productions
Originally established in Hong Kong 20 years ago, Lunchbox Theatrical Productions is now one of Australasia’s
leading producers of live entertainment. The company has staged almost 60 productions in Hong Kong to date,
including Les Misérables, Cirque du Soleil's Alegria, Jose Carreras, Chicago, Riverdance, Miss Saigon, Singin’ in
the Rain, Saturday Night Fever, We Will Rock You, CATS, STOMP, The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Annie,
to name just a few. Lunchbox Theatrical Productions is now based in the UK with offices in Australia, New Zealand,
Hong Kong, Singapore and The Philippines.
Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical-on-roller-skates, STARLIGHT EXPRESS
From 4th October, 2013
Lyric Theatre, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts
Show Date
Tue - Fri Evening
5 & 19 Oct 2013 (Sat)
12 Oct 2013 (Sat)
Show Time
2:30pm & 7:30pm
3:30pm & 8pm
2pm & 7pm
Price*: $950 (VIP), $850, $595, $395
﹣ A limited number of Full-Time Student tickets are available in A & B Reserve for all performances.
﹣ Family Packages purchase 4 VIP tickets at special Family price of $3,288 per package.
(2 Adult + 2 Children aged under 18)
﹣ *Ticket prices are exclusive of HK Ticketing booking fees.
*SAVE 10% when you book two or more shows at the same time including ENNIO MARCHETTO, ONE MAN LORD
OF THE RINGS, BUBBLE MAGIC, STARLIGHT EXPRESS and any ABA Productions Autumn Shows through any
HK Ticketing outlet or via hotline 31 288 288, OR present your ticket stub to any HK Ticketing outlet to save 10% on
additional tickets (offer applies to A + B Res only. Not applicable to Internet Booking.)
Ticketing Information
Tickets priced from HK$395 to HK$950 are available now by calling or visiting the following hotline, site or outlets:
HK Ticketing hotline: 31 288 288
HK Ticketing website:
HK Ticketing outlets: Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, The Hong Kong Academy for Performing
Arts, The Academy’s Landmark Heritage Campus-Bethanie, AsiaWorld-Expo, Fringe Club, HK International
Trade & Exhibition Centre, and all Tom Lee Music outlets
For more information, visit
For more details and updates, please visit
The above press release is issued by Lunchbox Theatrical Productions Ltd.
through PRO Marketing Services Company Limited
To download images, press material and information on STARLIGHT EXPRESS,
please visit:
For further Information and interview requests, please contact: Catherine Cheung and Priscilla Lui
Ph: (852) 2851 1482
Mob: (852) 9466 4743
e-Mail: [email protected]