Music, Lyrics and book: Jim Steinman
Director: Jay Scheib
The award-winning musical Bat out of Hell written by Jim Steinman and based on Meatloaf’s music is finally on tour. This week the show hits Stoke-on-Trent, much to the delight of local fans of the artist and musical alike. As ever there is trepidation as to whether it will live up the hype from the last few years. This tour is dedicated to Steinman and Meatloaf who sadly both recently passed away. They left a legacy that director Jay Scheib has the tough task to honour.
Strat is a leader of a rebellious gang who are forever 18. He falls for Raven much to the disgust of her powerful father Falco. Falco wants to protect his daughter from the outside world, meanwhile, his own love life with his wife, Sloane, is non-existent much to her frustration. What follows is a story of forbidden love and a journey of self-exploration. Although this may seem a familiar plot and does compare to, We Will Rock you, the script is written with rawness and depth. Bat out of Hell is essentially a very dark show but it is lightened up with daring, raunchy moments, and tongue in cheek humour.
The stage design of the show pulls out all the stops and it takes a while to make sense of the layout as there is so much going on. A camera operator follows off-stage action which is projected onto a big screen and shows Raven’s luxurious boudoir, a contrast to the dark subway where Strat and his gang live. It is understandable why this show has gained such a cult following. With so much on-stage action, it could be watched repeatedly.
There is certainly no danger of an audience member getting bored as the effects are big and loud. Harley Davidson’s roar and the cast belt out classic songs such as Two out of Three Aint Bad, Bat Out of Hell, and Anything for Love.
Strat is played by Glenn Anderson who is free-spirited and devilishly handsome and performs well with Martha Kirby as Raven. Kirby opens with a powerful and dramatic monologue that sets the pace for the rest of the show. Sharon Sexton as Sloane steals the night as Raven’s drunken, sex-starved mother. Her comic timing is impeccable, and she performs with the grit and passion of one of Meatloaf’s many leading ladies.
This is the first time Bat Out of Hell has played at the Regent Theatre and it doesn’t disappoint. Sometimes it can feel as if some of the West End shows are watered down on tour, but the audience got a night to remember and no doubt there will be repeat visits this week. Bat Out of Hell is a great testimonial and tribute to the legends that were Steinbeck and Meatloaf, and their music lives on in this electrifying show.
Runs Until Saturday 30 April 2022 and continues on tour