Arlene Phillips jumps aboard Starlight Express, tour dates confirmedDate: 3 February 2012
Full dates have now been announced for the UK tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Richard Stilgoe's 1984 musical Starlight Express which, as was previously reported, will tour from the New Wimbledon on 10 May 2012.
Following Wimbledon Starlight Express will travel to Bradford, Salford, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Bournemouth, Nottingham, Southend, Llandudno, Aberdeen and Hull, ending up in Londonderry on 9 February 2013.
It has also been announced that Arlene Phillips, West End choreographer and judge on the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing, will return to the show as director and choreographer.
Phillips choreographed the original West End production and has directed and choreographed several subsequent revivals of the show. Her other stage credits include Saturday Night Fever, The Sound of Music, Grease, We Will Rock You and Jesus Christ Superstar.
Casting for the production is still to be announced.
Starlight Express, which was written for two of Lloyd-Webber's children as a tribute to the era of steam trains, is performed entirely on roller skates. The musical originally opened at the West End's Apollo Victoria on 27 March 1984, playing 7,406 performances during its 18-year run to 12 January 2002.
Starlight Express is billed as a "futuristic tale about love and hope in the face of adversity" which promises to "take you on the ride of a lifetime – with two hours of speed, spectacle, energy and turbo charged excitement, combined with an electrifying sound track, dazzling sets and costumes, extraordinary roller-choreography and some of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s most memorable musical hits."
By the time the show finished its West End run it had been seen by over 8 million people and taken more than £140 million at the box office.
The musical's 2012 tour is being produced by Bill Kenwright Ltd, by special arrangement with Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group.
The last touring production, which was brought to the stage by a number of the original creative team including designer John Napier and choreographer Arlene Phillips, was produced by David Ian for Clear Channel Entertainment. The show was last seen in Plymouth in March 2008 having launched from Manchester in 2004 and toured internationally.