Belle's Domain
Starlight Express
If you're wondering who the HECK Belle is, here ya go! The character I use as my screen name, Belle, *IS* a genuine Starlight character. She was in the original London show, and on Broadway, but cut from all subsequent productions. Belle is an old sleeping car, who hangs round Poppa and the freight cars. She had her own song, introducing herself, which came directly after Poppa's Blues, when Poppa suggested to Rusty that he could take her as his racing partner after being dumped by Pearl. In the original London show, Rusty took up the offer, and they raced in heat 2, and were beaten by Electra and Pearl. Belle put in several appearances in act 2 - she was very vocal in The Rap - riding behind Rusty and in front of the Rockies, and arguing strongly for Rusty to be allowed to take Poppa's place in the final, despite Rusty's being disqualified for losing heat 2. She then was in the background while Dinah sang "U.N.C.O.U.P.L.E.D.", and led the coaches in "Rolling Stock Reprise". She didn't get to race again, but she sang "Light At the End Of The Tunnel" with Poppa.

In the Broadway production, Belle's role was much diminished- they changed the structure of the races, original London had 3 engines, 3 heats, and 3 entrants in the final. But for Broadway, they made it 2 heats, each race with 4 engines, and the first 2 in each heat made the final. This meant that Rusty didn't race in a heat, so he didn't need a coach, so he didn't race with Belle! Belle's role consisted of: singing her song after Poppa's Blues, falling asleep, then in act 2 singing "Light At the End Of The Tunnel". Understandably having such a pointless role, they cut her completely from subsequent productions. Still, it's a big loss to the show as her song is FABULOUS!


Belle in the News
PP Arnold, 1984 PP Arnold, 1984
Sam Lane, 1991 Sam Lane, 1991



BELLE ACTRESSES
London

1984-85 - P. P. Arnold
1985-90 - Shezwae Powell
1990-91 - Erin Lordan
1991-92 -Sam Lane

Broadway
Janet Williams-Adderley


Belle backstage
Belle and her boys


ONSTAGE Belle
Belle's Song Belle's Song Starlight Express will answer you yes...
Heat two: racing with Rusty Heat Two End of Heat 2
After Heat Three The Rap The Rap
The Rap Rolling Stock: Reprise Rolling Stock: Reprise
Rolling Stock: Reprise Light At The End Of The Tunnel Light At The End Of The Tunnel


Belle's Song - London Version

Memphis Belle - Broadway version

Looks and youth ain't everything
Experience is a quality that counts for a lot
The sad thing 'bout experience, is by the time you've got it
It's usually all you've got

I'm Belle, Belle, Belle the sleeping car
Doesn't matter who you are
Just climb aboard to lie with me
And when you wake I'll make you tea

A Pullman car when I was made
I went down for the seaside trade
I'm peeling now, the light's too bright
I wear dark glasses day and night

I had crystal lamps, Irish linen
To set off my red velvet dress
Those who rode on me compared me to
The Orient Express - that was excessive

But now they climb aboard, undress
Don't wait for me to whisper, 'yes'
Don't say goodnight, just hit the light
And worst of all turn over and go straight to sleep

Once I was a real main liner
Enjoying the occasional smoke
Now I hang around the fuel dump
Sniffing the coke, It really chokes me

I'm Belle, Belle, Belle the sleeping truck
I'm down at wheel down off my luck
I may not be first class but I'm not yet worst class
I can still warm you when the night is cold
I'm a sleeper with a heart of gold
I can still warm you when the night is cold
I'm a sleeper with a heart of gold

Looks and youth ain't everything
Experience is a quality that counts for a lot
The sad thing 'bout experience, is by the time you've got it
It's usually all you've got

I'm Memphis Belle, the sleeping car
Doesn't matter who you are
Pay your fare and climb aboard
I'll make you feel you're a lord

I was young, I was the toast
Those who took me to the coast
Then one great day, when we dined with Kent,
I was bought by Mr Brandterbilt

I had crystal lamps, Irish linen
To set off my red velvet dress
Those who rode on me compared me to
The Orient Express - that was excessive...

But now I get the sort of guys
Who take their teeth out - then their eyes
Don't say goodnight, just hit the light
And wheeze and snore to Baltimore

Seen a lot of judges disrobing
And statesmen in states of undress
One day I shall sell my memoirs to
The popular press - or True Confessions

I'm Belle, Belle, Belle the sleeping car
Won't you catch me, falling star...
Pearl of a nation, way beneath my station
But I can still warm you when the night is cold
I'm a sleeper with a heart of gold



Broadway, 1987 Broadway, 1987
Broadway, 1987