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15 years of Starlight in Bochum  
One of the worlds most successful musicals celebrates its 15th birthday on 12th June
Starlight Bochum

Starlight Express in Bochum is the musical of superlatives. With nearly 10 million guests since the premiere in 1988 it is the most successful piece of music in a theatre worldwide. In over 6,200 shows actors became living trains. No other musical in the world can achieve the acrobatic speed of Starlight Express. 15 years ago – on 12th of June 1988 – the “engines” and “wagons” raced on skates with fantastic costumes, masks, and wigs at over 60 km an hour through the audience for the first time.

Guests of all ages and a big fanbase are still feeling with Rusty when the young steam-engine competes against his challengers – the hypermodern E-engine Electra or the arrogant Diesel-engine Greaseball – in the biggest race of international trains. Starlight Express always has surprises in store. Last year there were the most spectacular innovations since the premiere in 1988: two more songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber, faster and more acrobatic races as well as a new 30m-long roller-skating track right through the stalls so that the audience could feel the airstreams of the racing skaters close to their skin.

Acrobatics on roller-skates, singing and dancing actors, terrific races, breathtaking lightning effects, infectious songs – that is Starlight Express!


Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 8pm

Wednesday 6.30pm

Saturday 3pm and 8pm

Sunday 12pm and 7pm


From €29-€95 (plus €2 system charge). Tickets and information are available by telephoning 0180-51 52 53 0 (€0.12 per min.)

Or go online:

Photos for downloading under

General information:

Starlight Express celebrated its premiere on 12th of June 1988. Guests from all over Germany and the adjoining countries came to the Ruhrgebiet to see Andrew Lloyd Webber’s masterpiece. In contrast to other stage plays and movies, the use of roller skates is no special interlude but has become principle: during the whole show the cast from 19 nations is on roller-skates. Nearly none of the 440 actors who came to Bochum over all the years had mastered roller-skating before. It takes three months of singing, dancing, roller-skating and choreographies before the audience can see the actors on stage for the first time.

Unique is the roller-skating department in the musical theatre. This is the place where the roller-skates – consisting of 146 separate parts – get assembled, serviced and fitted on every actor. In case the rolls don’t stay on the tracks during the show there is a “pit stop” behind the stage. The mechanics change the stoppers and axis faster than in a formula-one race.

With the direction by Dion McHugh and the choreography by Arlene Phillips, a terrific musical to the popular sport roller-skating has developed. Responsible for the stage set and the costumes, which are decorated with lighting sequins and studs and weigh up to 18kg, is John Napier.

Posted on: 1st June 2003

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