Bat Out Of Hell The Musical Review

Rating: ****

Reviewed at: London’s Coliseum Theatre

Jim Steinman’s Bat Out Of Hell The Musical explodes onto the stage at London’s Coliseum. Jim’s work on Bat Out Of Hell made famous by Meatloaf and is one of the most successful albums of all time, was originally written as a musical and some 40 years on that vision has finally been realised.

The show follows Strat, the leader of rebellious youth, he falls in love with Raven, who is the daughter of the most powerful man in post-apocalyptic Obsidian. Although there is a plot there, you honestly could do without it.

Andrew Polec (Strat) and Christina Bennington (Raven). Photo by Specular.

The Coliseum is a huge space and the design of the show really uses it to the fullest. Jon Bausor’s design is full of creativity. There is a great use of camera’s for the show, making it almost like a cinematic experience, through a cameraperson being on stage the video is projected onto bigger parts of the sets so no matter where you’re sitting you’ll get close-ups of the actors. I thought this worked really well.

The show really is about the music and the live musicians are excellent. As much as I want to give credit to the amazing cast the musicians are as much a part of the show.

There show is littered with huge songs, “Bat Out Of Hell”, “I’d Do Anything For Love”, “Dead Ringer For Love” to name a few. Such is the genius of Jim Steinman’s writing.

Andrew Polec (Strat). Photo by Specular.

Andrew Polec leads the company as Strat and he is phenomenal, his voice is stunning and he hits all the right notes. He commands the stage throughout and he is inspired casting. His vocals roar with perfection, he hits the big notes and soars in the ‘big songs’ like “Bat Out Of Hell” but he also can hit the quieter more touching moments of the character.  Andrew is a star and is destined for a huge career based on this showing. Christina Bennington as Raven more than matches Andrew’s vocals and she is stunning, both in voice and in general. She portrays the role superbly. She gives a gorgeous rendition of “Heaven Can Wait” and he duets with Andrew are stunning, none more so than “For Crying Out Loud” and “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now”.

Christina Bennington (Raven). Photo by Specular.

Rob Fowler is the villain of the piece in Falco, and his ripped muscles and his great rock star voice is powerful.  Sharon Sexton is sexy and gorgeous vocally as Sloane and is a great match to Rob. The pair of them give a stonking rendition of “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” in the first act. Both command the stage so well.

Danielle Steers is fierce as Zahara and Dom Hartley-Harris is awesome as Jagwire. They almost steal the show with “Dead Ringer For Love”. You won’t hear a better version of the song anywhere else. Dom’s vocals were probably my favourite in the show and along with Giovani Spano and Patrick Sullivan, they sing “Objects in the Rear View Mirror” magnificently. 3 stunning male voices.

Dom Hartley-Harris (Jagwire) and Danielle Steers (Zahara). Photo by Specular.

I don’t think I’ve vocally heard a company as strong, there is not a weak voice amongst them. They give the classic songs a new life and the audience laps them up.

The show’s story may be weak and feel a little overlong, but it’s all about the incredible vocals and the cast performances. They make this a crowd-pleasing night out and one that I recommend. It might be loud and a bit bonkers but it’s brilliant and so much fun.

Bat Out Of Hell runs at London’s Coliseum until August 22nd, 2017 before transferring to Toronto from October 14th, 2017. For more details click here.

Company. Photo by Specular.
Sharon Sexton (Sloane) and Rob Fowler (Falco). Photo by Specular.
Christina Bennington (Raven) and Andrew Polec (Strat). Photo by Specular.

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