REVIEW: Bat Out Of Hell (The Musical)

The sirens were screaming and their vocals were howling way down at the Manchester Opera House the other night…

As a HUGE Meatloaf fan and epic lover of musicals, I was looking forward to this so much. I was hoping for a great sound, fantastic  set and a plausible plot. As the great man himself says, ‘Two Outta Three Ain’t Bad’.

I was sat underneath what has to have been the biggest speaker set that I’ve ever seen in a theatre – West End, Broadway or otherwise. That was an amazing experience, I have to say. The set build was incredible and I can easily see why they booked out the Opera House for so long to get their build in. For a regional theatre, this was some serious commitment to being in Manchester, and I have no doubt that if you went to see it on the West End, you’d get pretty much exactly the same experience.

Alas, the geeky tech specs are all that I can really endorse, and the superb vocal performances from Danielle Steers (Zhandra).

The plot is essentially the same as We Will Rock You, but not as well tied together. Now, I know that WWRY is often mocked for the lack of plot, and I am the one often defending that. For me to call out Bat Out Of Hell as having even less of a plot, should sound the warning bells.

It was overly violent, frequently uncomfortable and very difficult to follow. There was also a gay sub-plot between Tink and Strat, and as always seems to be the way, Tink was portrayed to have deep psychological issues and his ultimate fate comes via. his misguided love for Strat.

I’m certainly no prude but the skimpy outfits and constant and occasionally awkward scenes of sex were absolutely gratuitous and really didn’t need to be there.

There’s also a very graphic and uncomfortable torture scene at the start of Act Two.

Definitely not one for the kids!

booh

The choreography initially had me buzzing – it was so good.Unfortunately the same tricks of the trade were repeated endlessly and it soon became tiresome.

I imagine this will get a limited run in the West End before being consigned to the proverbial musical ‘hell’. (see what I did there?). It’s a very tough market and I can’t imagine a sustained audience for it after the initial interest – certainly, I don’t imagine it will appeal to tourists. Saying that, a national tour of the US may be better suited.

I would do anything for my love of Meatloaf/Jim Steinman’s music, but I won’t endorse that!

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About Gari

Thirty-One year old northern lad; living out in the Peak District and rediscovering life after having had a brain tumour.

5 Responses

  1. Adrian Corssen

    Being as me and my wife are massive meatloaf fans we couldn’t wait to see this….we travelled the 220 mile round trip to Manchester Opera house on Saturday evening and can honestly say we were so please we did… so much so that we have booked to see it all again in London on the 1st of July but this time our two teenage sons are going with us….as they too like a bit of meatloaf and although there are scenes of violence, sexual scenes and torture its all there to make the story a good one and that’s what it is….a very well put together story with some great meatloaf tracks that my children will be able to realise it to be. The cast are all amazing with amazing vocals…the set was fantastic and it was loud….Just brilliant..Well done everyone. …can’t wait until the 1st of July !!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jill taylor

    Just been to see this , I found it fantastic, but then I quite often like what critics don’t. I found the plot easy to follow and the signing amazing, gay sub plots err what we’re you looking at. I went not really knowing what to expect and loved it, would quite happily go again.

    Like

  3. Dan L

    Amazing show. Great cast, songs, audio visual effects. Story so so and dancing was the usual Jim Steinman crazy flailing arms out of time with the music. But I loved it from start to finish !!!
    Nice to hear a proper version of What Part of My Body Hurts the Most. Jim’s old demo doesn’t do it justice.
    10 out of 10 for me. I’m going to go again!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. roy

    Gari, Saw this in London…really disappointed, the kindest way I would describe it would be juvenile.

    The set was a mess, dancing repetitive, story had to be explained via a ‘newspaper’, and sadly the singers voices were mis-matched.

    However the sound quality and live band were fantastic.

    As a fan of Bat out of hell I hope this embarrassment quickly fades away.

    Liked by 1 person

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