|Flat Top's the little brick truck. He's a bit of a punk, the rebel of the freight train. He's an aggressive little so-and-so, throwing his brick on a chain into the audience (and yes, occasionally it did break and land in the paddock!) but he has an image, trying to cover up that actually, underneath it all he's a sweet, caring kid. Flat-top really wants to be a big boy, one of Greaseball's Gang, And they put up with him most of the time, but he's the little brother, the one they make do the dirty work and beat up if they're annoyed!
Flat Top's quite an innocent, young character, he doesn't realise just how mean Greaseball is. He doesn't race - although he approached Bobo, Ashley pushed him out of the way to claim her partner. He generally is a background character, and as such developed some hilarious ad-libbed actions! I've seen Flat Top use his brick as a mobile, a mouth organ, the chain as a string bass, he's eaten it, of course thrown it... Poppa's Blues was Flat Top's song!
| In London, Flat Top's crowning moment was after GB's Gang had beaten up Rusty (and Flat Top received a few punches too, as well as being winded by having rusty's helmet shoved into his stomach) Flat Top made to follow the gang out, but doubled back to check on Rusty - handing him his helmet and asking "You alright, Rusty?" He was usually rewarded by a disgusted glare from Rusty - 'what a stupid thing to say! Yes, Flat Top, I've just been beaten to the ground by 6 ugly diesel engines, I'm just fine!'
London Flat Top is a much more filled-in character than other productions, as after 1992 he had room to develop to compensate for the lack of Caboose. In London he almost has his own sub-plot, but in other productions he's the least of the freight - the Rockies get a big number, Dustin gets to race, and CB's, well, CB! Poor old Flat Top just gets to be aggressive.
My favourite Flat Top is definitely Jamie Golding, who played him as a mix of Gavroche (from Les Mis) with his character from "Grange Hill" (children's TV series set in a rough school). Jamie made Flat Top the deepest and most interesting character in the whole show!
One thing I'll never understand, costume-wise- In non-london productions, Flat Top has his brick on top of his head. Fine. But WHY is the brick made up of lots of little bricks??? London Flat Top changed his shoulders halfway through the show - the big heavy ones are much more impressive, but impossible to dance in so he changed to the lighter ones.
BACKSTAGE Flat Top
Starlight Express On Ice
Updated September 2009