Last night saw Jim Steinman’s epic Bat Out Of Hell musical storm unapologetically into London’s West End as it set up home in London’s Coliseum – ironically the home of English National Opera – for the next few weeks, and we were lucky enough to be among the patrons there for opening night.
Based on Meatloaf’s epic Bat Out Of Hell album from 1977, the musical guarantees epic songs and powerhouse performances, however, what we were not prepared for was the incredibly high-tech set and impressive special effects that had the audience gasping inbetween clapping their hands and whooping with delight.
It’s unsurprising that the Bat Out Of Hell tracks offer themselves so easily to a West End stage, with the original songs originally penned for a musical based on Peter Pan – which instantly opens itself up as the storyline of the show.
Strat [Andrew Polec] is the leader of the ‘lost’ – a group of boys who were frozen at the age of 18 – and he finds himself in trouble when he falls in love with Raven [Christina Bennington], the daughter of a cruel, Trump-esque tycoon who is desperate to keep Raven locked in her bedroom away from the raging hormones and bad behaviour of the lost.
True to the form of any love story, Raven defies her father in a bid to start a new life with Strat but, of course, things can never be quite that simple.
Although the plot isn’t the strongest nor the most challenging that you will find in London’s staggering host of theatre shows, the incredible songs – performed flawlessly by the electric cast – and showstopping staging is more than enough to keep you entertained.
In fact, it’s safe to say that the entire production is unashamedly in-your-face as the actors sing with gusto, entire cars get pushed off the stage, towards the audience, and mopeds fantastically explode in scenes that will stay with you long after the curtain call.
The shock value of each and every scene will leave you yearning for more and it’s clear to see that no expense was spared as Steinmen’s dystopian Neverland fantasy was turned into a reality.
The star-studded audience at yesterday’s opening night have also been raving about the show, with Giovanna Fletcher sharing: “The show is great, it’s so huge. The stage is huge, the sound is huge.
“The songs are obviously huge. There were also really lovely tender moments, they were my favourite moments.”
Former EastEnders’ star Danny-Boy Hatchard added on Twitter: “Ok, listen. If you don’t beg, steal, borrow a ticket for @batthemusical at the @LondonColiseum then you’ve missed out on a life experience.”
And we couldn’t agree more.
Bat Out Of Hell at London’s Coliseum is now booking until August 22 2017 – click here to find out more.