All aboard at the Bluecoat for a new musical on skates


Performers on roller skates will take to the stage at the Bluecoat this weekend in a new musical about the region’s buses – inspired by Starlight Express.

Bus Regulation: the Musical re-enacts the story of public transport provision across Merseyside from the post-war period to the present day, including the 1968 Transport Act and the 1986 re-regulation of the buses.

And the performance is being presented in collaboration with local transport campaigners to create awareness of the Liverpool City Region plans to re-regulate the region’s buses.

Ellie Harrison, who has written and is directing the show, says: “I care passionately about improving public transport; it’s vital for addressing the climate emergency and tackling chronic poverty and inequality.

“I wanted to create a fun, family-friendly event to inspire others with this passion and that’s when the childhood memory of watching Starlight Express popped into my head.

"Just as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s famous musical uses performers on roller skates to portray trains, I’m working with local skaters to re-enact the lost history of Merseyside’s buses. This is an important history, as it clearly shows that proper governance and regulation is vital for making public transport work in the interests of the region’s people.”

The production is funded by Arts Council England through the National Lottery Project Grants programme and produced in collaboration with the Bluecoat, We Own It, ACORN Liverpool, Better Buses for Merseyside and roller skaters from Liverpool Roller Birds and Wirral Roller Derby.

Bus Regulation: the Musical is at the Bluecoat on Sunday, November 13. Free tickets HERE