If you only see one show this year, make sure it's the jaw-droppingly good Starlight
STARLIGHT Express was one of the longest running musicals in London's theatre history, with 18 years in the bag — and it's easy to see why it pulled in millions of punters.
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It's a high energy, fast-paced spectacle and is jaw droppingly good.
Andrew Lloyd Webber's story about a little boy playing with his toy trains that come to life is electrifying and is a must see production.
Since the show last came to Torbay in 2006, it's had a make over.
The score has been rearranged and a new phenomenal lighting display, like no other, has been added.
I should imagine mega-money has been spent on refreshing the offering to bring it kicking and screaming into 2013.
The bright and striking lighting really added to the overall performance and at times it felt more like being at a pop concert than a musical.
The talented cast command the stage and coped really well with the constraints of space at the small venue.
The show is flawless and the choreography, courtesy of Arlene Phillips, is seamless.
At times you forget the cast are all on roller skates as you get so engrossed in the high octane action.
Kristofer Harding did a grand job as the innocent and shy steam engine Rusty and he really got the chance to show off his vocal ability during the title track Starlight Express to rapturous applause.
Mykal Rand, who played Electra (the electric train) when the show toured the UK before, returned to the role.
He truly puts his heart and soul into the performance.
Jamie Capewell as the beefy diesel train Greaseball was also on form.
The Hip Hopper trains also added another dimension to the show performing raps and break dancing and I'm sure will be loved by teenagers in the audience.
Admittedly Starlight's unique selling factor is the fact the cast perform on skates, but I'm sure it also sells well because of the amazing songs by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
The ballad He'll Whistle At Me, sung by Pearl, really shows off Webber's talent at its best.
While U.N.C.O.U.P.L.E.D performed by Dinah, a comedy song about break up, is brilliantly written.
One Rock 'n' Roll Too Many with Greaseball, Electra and Red Caboose, where they all come on to the stage with their costumes mangled after losing a train race, was definitely a crowd pleaser and a highlight of the night.
It's no surprise this show has won awards for its costumes. Along with the make up they are awesome and are so intricate and detailed.
It must take each character an age to put on all the sections and bits of their costumes.
Looking around at the audience it was great to see a mixed crowd of all ages enjoying the show.
It's also family friendly and could be the perfect musical to take youngsters to, to get them into watching live theatre.
The show runs at the Princess Theatre until January 26.
If you go and see one show this year, make sure it's this one.