Bat Out Of Hell
Bat Out of Hell
I had somehow completely missed last years production of Bat Out of Hell at the Coliseum and after attending their preview event I was determined to catch it this time round. I finally got my chance on the evening of the 23rd April.
Bat Out of Hell is possibly one of the most random musicals I have seen. Often with jukebox musicals the story is tenuous in order to try and weave together the songs but this show takes that to a new level. Bat Out of Hell is a loose retelling of Peter Pan. It tells of Raven, the daughter of Falco, a tyrant who controls this dystopian world. Raven wants to explore the world outside of her home but due to ‘The Lost’ those who will never grow up, she is forbidden to do so. Love however blossoms between Raven and the leader of ‘The Lost,’ Strat and Raven is forced to chose between love and family.
Whilst the story is often obscure at times and the songs fail to move on the plot at all you can’t deny that this show is a lot of fun. Everything about the show enhances this obscure, crazy yet fun vibe with everything being larger than life. The set is huge with a cameraman being on hand to relay a live feed onto a part of the set, motorbikes blow up, and confetti canons fire. That being said often some of these effects were simply there to wow rather than to do anything for the story, for example Falco’s immersion in a pool….I’m still unsure what this was about and why?
As for the costumes they take the 80’s rock vibe and magnify this by a thousand with leather and short skirts being the order of the day. Where ever you look the costumes are individual and add an extra layer of creativity to the show. Visually this show is like no other around!
You can’t however talk about things being larger than life in Bat Out of Hell and not mention the music! Jim Steinman is known for his epic songs and whilst some of them have been shortened or altered for the stage they haven’t lost any of their drama in doing so. They do however save the audience pleasers, with ‘All Coming Back To Me Now’ and ‘I’d Do Anything For Love (But I won’t do That)’ appearing right near the end. The songs were high octane, rocky numbers with an incredible amount of energy.
Simon Gordon, the alternate Strat managed to belt out number after number. Christina Bennington as Raven started off with an angelic voice but by act 2 this had developed into pure rock chic, showing just how versatile she is. However it wasn’t just the leading couple who had a magical combination of musical theatre stars singing rock well. Danielle Steers as Zahara had a jaw dropping voice and Rob Fowler and Sharon Sexton as Falco and Sloane sizzled together.
As you may have guessed by now Bat out of Hell isn’t a musical that does things by halves and the choreography is no exception to this. At times I loved it with quirky formations and athletic routines but at other times it pushed the boundaries of quirky too far.
Bat Out of Hell is certainly entertaining, visually has everything but the kitchen sink thrown at it and vocally filled with some huge talent however the pure randomness of the story and everything surrounding this did mean I left the theatre slightly puzzled.
To find out more about Bat out of Hell and book tickets check out their website.