Paul Shipp, originally from the UK, is currently appearing in the ever-popular German-language version of Starlight Express in Bochum, Germany, where the show continues to play to packed houses after more than twenty years of performances in the specially built Starlighthalle Theatre. We caught up with Paul to talk musical theatre ambitions, skating injuries, and everything in between…
How long have you been in the show in Bochum?
I’ve been in the show for 3 years.
Had you seen Starlight Express before appearing in the show?
Yes, in London and during the UK tour.
What do you think of the show?
How does playing in Bochum differ to playing the show elsewhere in the world?
The show in Bochum is much harder and more challenging.
What is it like playing in the specially-built Starlighthalle?
What are the Bochum audiences like?
The audiences are very good. They support us a lot.
What is it like performing the show in German, as it is not your first language?
At first it was strange, but then you get used to it.
How far does the skating element of the show make Starlight Express different from performing in other musical theatre productions?
It’s much harder to sing and dance on skates.
Did you know how to skate before you appeared in Starlight?
A little bit.
Did you take part in skate school? How was it – do you have any interesting stories?
Every new actor has to take part in skate school. It was incredibly hard work!!
What are you like on your roller skates now?
Now I feel comfortable on my skates.
Have you experienced any skating-related injuries?
How do you get about offstage during the show – do you keep your skates on?
Have you any disasters onstage – skating-related or otherwise?
Yes – when I was Electra I came down the bridge and fell on my face at the bottom. That was very embarrassing!
What is your favourite song of the show?
I haven’t got a favourite song. I like them all!
What is your favourite part of the show?
“Ein Rock ‘n’ Roll zuviel”, when I am Electra.
What do you like most and least about performing this role?
I like to play the Components (Krupp & Purse). But least I like the costumes because it is so hard to dance in.
Are there any other roles in the show that you would like to play?
I would really like to play Greaseball.
Was appearing in the show a personal ambition for you?
What inspired you to pursue a career in musical theatre?
I started dancing when I was 11 years old and I always enjoyed it – I knew it was my destiny.
What would your dream role be?
It used to be Chris in Miss Saigon, but now I don’t have one. Maybe Angel in Rent.
Do you miss anything about home when you are performing in Bochum?
I miss London – the city vibe.
How would you spend your perfect day off?
Going somewhere out of Bochum on a sunny day.
For more information on Starlight Express in Bochum, visit the official website.
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