BAT OUT OF HELL – THE MUSICAL REVIEW
Yes, you may think that you already saw a review from us at TheLIveReview.co.uk for this show and yes you are correct. Susy Brett did a fine job when attending press night, however, this was a show I myself wanted to see after hearing all the reviews for it and so when seatplan.co.uk offered me an opportunity to see it a week later I snapped it up.
Situated at the Dominion Theatre the last time I had been here was to see Queen the Musical so it was nice to come back to this venue for the first time in a long time.
Originally written as a musical, Bat Out of Hell went on to become one of the most iconic and successful albums of all time. 40 years later, this critically acclaimed album has been turned back into a musical.All the biggest Meatloaf hits are brought back for the old and new audiences alike.
So the storyline, well it had to be a love story and a forbidden love at that. Strat played by Andrew Polec is a genetically changed 18-year-old who like his friends make up the group known as the ‘The Lost’ cannot age, Chistina Bennington is Raven the heiress to Falco the ruler of Obsidian the futuristic and dystopian city that this story is set and all the power that brings with it. The character depth lacked slightly in that we didn’t get too much past the surface but that didn’t matter so much in this rock show.
Raven has been protected all her life, hidden away from the world outside and missing out on life experiences due to the fact rebels in the city are against her father Falco and want change. She comes across Strat who as the leader of ‘The Lost’ portrays everything she wishes for, freedom and the ability to express herself as she sees fit. Likewise, Strat see’s a beauty in Raven and wishes to take her out of the trap she is in. The ensuing storyline then brings us moments of anger, sweetness and pure exhilaration!
The staging was standout in this show, and from the moment I sat down, you could see a lot of attention had been paid, throughout the show we the audience were blown away more and more with what we saw. The stage changed multiple times changing the location cleverly, doors sliding, floor projections changing the landscape, Raven’s bedroom situated on a 1st floor upper level. An extra special treat was the video screen, projecting live film through scenes, which enhanced the atmosphere and again giving it a concert feel, the videography pure genius when projecting characters from the live action on stage to the screen. Cars tipping over the edge and a slow-motion bicycle crash just fabulous! so a special mention to Jon Basour (Set Designer), Finn Ross (Video Designer) and Patrick Woodroffe (Lighting Designer).
So if the staging was this good then the cast had to be just as good, and in Andrew Polec straight from the opening number, you could tell this was a rock musical. Andrews vocals reflecting more like a concert performance, his vocals throughout brilliant and like our previous review we agree his rendition of ‘ I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) simply brilliant as was the duet of ‘Bat Out of Hell’ with Christina Bennington.
Ravens parents Falco and Sloane played by Rob Fowler and Sharon Sexton were a great pairing. Seeing them feud as loving protective parents, but a couple that had fallen out of love shared some beautiful scenes and vocals throughout, especially in ‘Paradise by the Dashboard Light’.
Danielle Steers who plays Zahara has been receiving some rave reviews and definitely well deserved. Her singing just brilliant and for me probably should have a few more numbers in the show, accompanied by her love interest Jagwire played by Wayne Robinson who too showed us a voice.
However, it was Christina Bennington for me that won the performer of the night. Christina’s singing – just amazing. I was immersed in her voice and she hit every number perfectly.
The rest of the cast also do their bit in supporting and also have their moments in the light.
This show is for the rock fan, the story may be a bit cliche but every good movie has a love story nowadays so why not this. If you are a Meatloaf fan then you will be dancing in your seats at this. One of the best shows I have seen in terms of production and staging, I doubt we will see creativeness like this elsewhere for a while. A high energy, fast-paced, well choreographed, hit after hit show that will entertain from the outset!