Bat out of Hell – The Musical

The plot may be bonkers but the driving force of the show is the music which resonates strongly with Petra Shepherd

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Bat out of Hell – The Musical wowed critics and public alike when it played limited seasons at Manchester Opera House, London Coliseum and Toronto’s Ed Mirvish Theatre in 2017, and has been seen by nearly 500,000 people to date. It has recently re-opened at London’s Dominion Theatre where I was lucky enough to catch it the other week.

Jim Steinman’s Bat out of Hell – The Musical is a romantic adventure about rebellious youth and passionate love, set against the backdrop of a post-cataclysmic city adrift from the mainland. Strat, the forever young leader of The List has fallen for Raven, daughter of Falco, the tyrannical ruler of Obsidian.

However, don’t even pretend to understand the plot (I didn’t) what you’re really there for is the songs, who after all doesn’t know the title song Bat out of Hell. Bat out of Hell became one of the best-selling albums in history, selling over 50 million copies worldwide. 16 years later, Steinman scored again with Bat out of Hell 11: Back into Hell, which contained the massive hit “I would do anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)”.  For the stage musical Jim Steniman has incorporated these songs from both albums along with others including “You Took the Words Right out of My Mouth” (which most of the audience were mouthing along to), and “Two Out of Three ain’t Bad” as well as two previously unreleased songs, “What Part of My Body Hurts the Most” and “Not allowed to Love”, both of which I’ve no doubt will be a hit with Meatloaf fans and lovers of juke box musicals

The voices of the young cast were amazing doing immense justice to the memorable songs but be warned, it’s very, very loud. The cast is led by Andrew Polec, winner of the Joe Allen Best West End Debut in the Stage Debut Awards 2017, as Strat and Christina Bennington as Raven, with Rob Fowler as Falco and Sharon Sexton as Sloane.  Also starring are Alex Thomas-Smith as Tink, Danielle Steers as Zahara, Wayne Robinson as Jagwire, Giovannie Spano as Ledoux (yes, no-one has normal names here) except perhaps Patrick Sullivan as Blake. Back to the baffling plot, I’d recommend reading The Obsidian Times in the interval.

The Obsidian Times is a four page fictional newspaper dated October 2030, left on your seat with headlines like “Mystery of the Lost Deepens” “Raven turns 18” “Falco Leads Multi-Million Dollar Housing Project” which at least goes some way to explaining the events unfolding on the stage.

The Dominion Theatre has become the natural home for rock musicals, We will Rock You performed here for 12 rocking years and it’s a perfect venue now for Bat out of Hell – The Musical.  I grew up loving the music (I owned both albums on vinyl) and I expect there are plenty of other “Bat” fans out there (the musical is already the winner of the Evening Standard Radio 2 Audience Award for Best Musical 2017) who will also love this show even if the story is completely bonkers.

Bat out of Hell – The Musical
The Dominion Theatre
268-269 Tottenham Court Road