On Tuesday night we had the pleasure of attending the opening night of Bat Out Of Hell as it returned to the Manchester Opera house once again after it’s premier there in 2017!
The story is ultimately set in a dystopian apocalyptic city where a group of age frozen, forever young misfits who call themselves the ‘lost’ do not fit in with the rest of society. When the group’s leader Strat falls in love with Raven the daughter of Falco (the tyrannical, disapproving leader of the city) it leads to a tale of betrayal, jealously and conflict. The story can only be described as a mash up between Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers and the lost boys from Peter Pan all brought together with rock and roll! It may sound absolutely crazy, but it just works...
Of course as the title suggests, there was plenty of nods to Meat Loaf – with the iconic frilly shirts and red hankies making a clever appearance. But obviously the main nod to Meat Loaf was found in the way that his songs were celebrated and performed with so much energy and might.
(Glenn Adamson as Strat, Martha Kirby as Raven and The Cast Of Bat Out Of Hell)
The musical talent of the cast (especially from Martha Kirby who played Raven, Sharon Sexton as Sloane, and Joelle Moses as Zahara) was so phenomenal. There were even moments where it was THAT GOOD that the audience literally clapped and cheered mid song- as you couldn’t help but react at how the cast members voices just hit that level of brilliance very rarely experienced.
Although the show was jam-packed-full of all the fish net tights, Harley Davidsons, and guitar solo’s a rock and roll fan could dream of, the show also lived up to expectations as a musical. The heart felt ballads such as ‘Objects In the Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are’ and ‘What Part of my Body Hurts the most’ are painstakingly beautiful and filled with so much emotion.
(Rob Fowler as Falco and Sharon Sexton as Sloane)
There was of course greatly received comic relief throughout, including a timely joke where hand sanitiser is used after a spit fueled handshake!. And of course, can’t write a review for this show without mentioning the iconic performance of Paradise by the Dashboard light performed by Ravens Parents (Sharon Sexton and Rob Fowler). Spun to demonstrate the desperate feat for passion in their long-suffering marriage this scene has audiences blushing, laughing, and of course screeching at the reveal of bright pink lycra underwear.
During a heartfelt speech by at the end of the show, Rob Fowler payed tribute to the late great Jim Steinman but also the difficult year the theatre industry has endured. This made the encore even more incredible and had every single audience member on their feet to celebrate and dance together.
It’s safe to say that this show will definitely blow you away... so much so that I was left completely speechless- or that might have just been because I’d been singing along with all my might!