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Tuesday, 21 August, 2001, 11:50 GMT 12:50 UK
Starlight Express to make last journey
Starlight Express
The cast have put their skates on more than 7,000 times
Andrew Lloyd Webber's hit musical Starlight Express is finally coming to the end of the line.

After a 17-year run, the show will be performed for the last time on 12 January 2002, by when it will have played 7,406 times to more than eight million people.

Starlight Express has had an amazing run

Lord Lloyd-Webber
The show is the second longest running musical in West End history, after another Lord Lloyd-Webber musical, Cats - which has been showing for 20 years.

Starlight Express, which features a roller-skating cast, was produced by Lloyd-Webber's Really Useful Group and marries Lord Lloyd-Webber's music to lyrics by Richard Stilgoe.

Lord Lloyd-Webber said: "Its final performance will be a very emotional experience for all of us who have been close to it for the past 18 years.

"Starlight Express has had an amazing run.

"It is a show dear to my heart as I wrote it for my older children, now 24 and 22, and I want to turn it into something my younger children will enjoy," he said.

But fans of the show can look forward to other presentations of the musical, including a national tour and a television series.

Lord Lloyd Webber
Lord Lloyd-Webber created the score with lyricist Richard Stilgoe
"I have long wanted to see it presented in Britain in a purpose-built environment as we have in Germany," said Lord Lloyd-Webber.

Plans are also being made for a stadium production of the show in other countries.

"Starlight's closure provides the perfect opportunity to plan this while freeing up the theatre for my production of the musical Bollywood Dreams," said Lord Lloyd-Webber.

The show is directed by Trevor Nunn and designed by John Napier, with choreography by Arlene Phillips.

Like some other Lloyd-Webber musicals, it did not receive a favourable critical reception - but proved a huge hit with audiences.

Click here to vote for your favourite musical

See also:

21 Aug 01 | Showbiz
Lloyd Webber's musical journey
19 Jul 01 | Arts
West End musical chairs
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Full-time called on Beautiful Game
15 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Critics honour Beautiful Game
27 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Soccer musical has crowd on its feet
09 May 01 | Arts
Cats celebrates 20th year
07 Mar 00 | South Asia
Lloyd Webber's Bollywood dream
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