Belle's Domain
Starlight Express

Electra's repair truck... First Aider to the really sick! Wrench is, well, a bit of a moody, violent girl, I'd certainly not like to get on her bad side!
Wrench is generally considered to be the most butch of the components, or at least vying with Krupp for aggressive and violent tendancies. Her original incarnation gave her definite punk influences in her red and blue wig. In London she raced with Turnov in heat 3 (heat 2 after the revamp), however she's not a racer in other productions. London Wrench's costume was given a major overhaul in 1999, from the peacock blue unitard to the red, black and silver, more reminiscent of the German/American designs but not identical. I was told that in 1992 during the revamp they attempted to introduce the crane-hat instead of the cropped wig. However, the Pumping Iron move where Greaseball skates over the girls... apparently wasn't going too well from Greaseball's perspective, with the crane sticking up too high... So they kept the wig. Before the re-vamp, Pumping Iron was before AC/DC, and Joule and Volta danced it dressed as 2nd and 3rd class sleepers, but Wrench was not in the number. This shows in the timing of the choreography, it's very much six girls with Wrench tacked on the end.
For some reason as yet not fully known to me, the German production decided in 2005 to cross-cast Wrench as male. While PeeLee is by all accounts excellent as a repair truck, and Wrench is by no means a girly character, it seems an odd decision. Were there very few girls auditioning, did they have to cast a guy in the role? The show is so unevenly weighted, 7 girls : 17+ guys, it seems so odd to further exaggerate the ratio. However, male Wrenches are not unusual, whenever the show runs low on girls - ie. a flu bug going round backstage etc, Wrench is the first to be played by a guy.

The first occasion we saw a male Wrench we knew there were two swings in the components, covering Wrench and Krupp. One was 6'+ David Hulston, the other Darryl Paul at about 5'4. Logically we assumed Darryl Paul would more easily fit a girls' costume, and David Hulston played Krupp quite regularly. How entertaining, we thought... even more so as short Krupp emerged through the smoke for AC/DC, followed by the biggest Wrench ever!

Wrench's costume was re-worked again for the US/UK tours, bringing the wire cage and wide collar elements of her london costume toogether with the crane hat of other designs. The UK tour costume is remarkably clumsy, badly proportioned, inflexible shoulders, and somehow the kneepads require poppers to hold them in place- something all other productions have managed to do without.

Ruthie Stephens

Wrench's Domain

early london early london early london
early london early london Gary Lloyd
Jane Houseley Sharon Mudie Julie McKenna
Kate Alexander Kate Alexander Kate Alexander
Kate Alexander Kate Alexander David Hulston
Kate Alexander Kate Alexander Sarah Dickens? (swing)
Renee Chambers Annemiek Koel Melanie Houseley
Display in foyer, Bochum
Leesa Osborne

Random coincidence? fantastic marketing angle? Who knows? But sisters Jane and Melanie Houseley were playing Wrench at the same time, in London and Bochum! How cool is that?

Melanie Houseley Jane Houseley
Advertising Wrench

Flyer, 2004 UK tour.  Note:  tour did not include Bobo or Espresso, and Wrench looked completely different! Troy Adams, September 2001 Pre-Opening publicity, London 1984
Ruth Anderson Louise Conte Miwako Montani

Bochum, 1988

Bochum, 1990

UK Tour 2006 - Bekki Carpenter


London 1984 London 1984 London 1984
London 1984 London 1984 London 1984
London 1992 London 1992 - in background at least London 1992 - why she doesn't wear the crane hat
London 1992 - interesting wig London 1992 London 1994
London 1994 - COULD Wrench look any less impressed? London 1995 London 1995
London 1996 London 1996 London 1997
London 1998 London 1998 London 1999
London 2000 London 2001
Japan/Australia Tours
Japan/Australia Tour, 1987 Japan/Australia Tour, 1987 Japan/Australia Tour, 1987
Japan/Australia Tour, 1987 Japan/Australia Tour, 1987 Japan Tour, 1990
Japan Tour, 1990 Japan Tour, 1990
US Productions
Broadway, 1987 Broadway, 1987 Broadway, 1987
Broadway, 1987 US Tour, 1989 US Tour, 1989
US Tour, 1989 Las Vegas, 1993 US Tour, 2003
US Tour, 2003 US Tour, 2003
UK Tour
UK Tour, 2005 UK Tour, 2005
UK Tour, 2006 UK Tour, 2006
Bochum, Germany
Bochum, 1988 Bochum, 1988 Bochum, 1991
Bochum, 1992 Bochum, 1998 Bochum, 2002
Bochum, 2002 Bochum, 2004 Bochum, 2005

costume design for Broadway production, dated 1986

FAN Wrench

Mazz with Chris Copeland Mazz, 2001 Mazz, 2001
Mazz, 2001 - new belt, leggings Mazz, 2001 Liz, 2002
Mazz, 2002. Costume entirely re-made, and yes, that's her real hair! Mazz, 2002 Mazz, 2006.  Another wig, another re-make
Open Day 2001 Fanday 2003 Open Day 2005, SHINY Wrench
Newspaper report on Open Day, 2005 Open Day, Bochum 2006