Belle's Domain
Starlight Express

Bochum 1994

Dustin the Aggregate Hopper
Dustin's such a sweet character - he's kind, well-meaning, caring, but big. He's not fat, he's just big-boned - well, that's just the way he was made! He's not the brightest penny either, bless him. Dustin is essential to the Freight train, he works hard, does what he's told. However he's shy - when it comes to his turn to introduce himself in "Freight", Control has to call him several times and Flat-top, or Caboose, also have to encourage him to come forward and introduce himself. Dustin's close friends with Flat-top, while Flat-top's larking around it's to amuse Dustin.
He is key to the storyline of Starlight Express - After Rusty's been eliminated/refuses to race (depending on version), Poppa decides to race to show him what Steam Can Do - but he needs a Partner. Rocky is already spoken for, Flat-top flat-out refuses, but Dustin wants to help- he's love to help! So Poppa races with Dustin in the last Heat, and they win. But the exertion has been too much for Poppa, and Dustin is racked with guilt- it was his fault, he was too heavy... Then later it's Dustin who was nearby when Rusty met the Starlight Express, and Dustin, in his dreams, had seen it too... and together they raced the DOWNhill final. And amazingly - They won!
Dustin's costume has always evoked a hard-working, simple character. He's padded with a framework similar to a crinoline skirt support, apparently! As ever, the london costume designs were simpler and more anthropomorphically suggestive than the american-based version, which has his shirt open, and coals spilling out of his open stomach - a little too graphic for my liking. That's his innards pouring outwards!
A few years back, there was a run of fanfic stories written within the old Yahoo community, and within this fantasy setting, Dustin and Joule the dynamite Truck became a couple, as "opposites attract". There was nothing to prompt this relationship onstage, it was just a cute idea... some cute pics were drawn, a couple more stories written mentioning them as being together. Then one night, we saw Dustin and Joule flirting onstage. Most bizarre, and the actress playing Joule denied even knowing about the internet. The actor playing Dustin, however, suddenly turned very sheepish about answering if he'd seen the fan community!

1988 Bochum cast

Geoffrey Stevens, Japan/Australia Tour 1987 Earl J. Rhimer, Japan tour 1990 Gavin Ashbarry

BACKSTAGE Dustin
Early London Early London Gary Love
Danny Metcalfe Jason Capewell Jason Capewell
yeah. Dale Branston Dale Branston
Scott Bolt Open Day 2001 Open Day 2005

Dustin Artwork

Mural in Foyer, Bochum
Original Design
ONSTAGE Dustin

London

London 1984 London 1984 London 1984
London 1984 London 1984 London 1980s
London 1980s London 1980s London 1992
London 1992 London 1994 London 1995
London 1996 London 1996 London 1997
London 1997 London 1997 London 1998
London 1999 London 2000 London 2001

Japan/Australia

Japan/Australia Tour 1987 Japan Tour 1990 Japan Tour 1990
Japan Tour 1990

Bochum, Germany

Bochum 1989 Bochum 1989
Bochum 1997 Bochum 1997 Bochum 2000
Bochum 2000 Bochum 2004 Bochum 2005
Bochum 2005 Bochum 2005 Bochum 2006
Bochum 2006

US Productions

Broadway 1987 Broadway 1987 US tour 1989
US tour 1989 US tour 1989 US tour 1989
Las Vegas 1993 US tour 2003

UK Tour

UK tour 2004 UK tour 2006 UK tour 2006

FANS of Dustin
Dustin Fan, Open Day 2002 Martin as Dustin, summer 2002


Dustin published
London 1991 Final london performance, Dale Branston

Bochum 1990

Bochum 1990