Bat Out of Hell The Musical / our review
Insane operatic EPIC
Jul 6th, 2017
Totally. Super. Awesome
Please note, this review is from the show's West End premiere and appears here from our sister site London-theatreland.co.uk
A high octane thrill ride, this epic stage adaptation of the already fairly epic album(s) is utterly irresistible.
From the opening bars, Bat Out of Hell grabs and pushes you headfirst into its post-apocalyptic world of 2100's Obsidian (formerly Manhattan) where immortal rebels fight against the man, who in this case a first rate villain called Falco, who lives high above their underground hideout in his Trump tower style mansion. Little does he know, Raven, his soon to be 18 year old daughter is in love with the leader of the rebels, a sinewy rock and roll punk called Strat.
With this simple story of good over evil and a good-old forbidden romance, Bat Out of Hell revs you harder than a Harley Davidson. Its confection of denim, leather, sequins and satin, which evokes the rockabilly scene of the 50's meets The Fifth Element, is so good I can't stop with the effusive adjectives.
Our two leads excel at believability and drip with talent (our performance featured understudy Benjamin Purkiss as Strat and Christina Bennington as Raven) and are supported by an excellent cast, each throwing everything at the part. Special mentions to Danielle Steels as Zazara and Rob Fowler and Sharon Sexton as Raven's horny and hilarious parents.
Obviously the large draw here is the high camp rock and roll of Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman's oeuvre. Each tune surprises you, and the casual or novice fan will recognise at least 50% of the songs here, including 'Dead Ringer For Love', 'Paradise By The Dashboard Light' and 'Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad'. The expert production pitches each higher and higher until the finale 'I Would Do Anything For Love' has you across a barrel, shamelessly singing along at the top of your voice.
Every aspect of the show combines seamlessly, from the passion of the actors to the amazing special effects (fire! And confetti cannons!) and the choreography, the creativity and humour of which I had never experienced before. What is most evident here is that everyone who contributed to the production really cared - love and reverence is apparent even in the foyer where you can further immerse yourself in Obsidian with a specially brewed beer.
Bat Out of Hell is tipped to take over the world. It'll likely return to London in the coming years for a longer stay, but for the present, if you can get hold of a ticket, run to the theatre, you won't regret it!
View our show pages for more information about Bat Out of Hell The Musical, Ed Mirvish Theatre.