The winner of Best Musical at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards and also nominated for 8 WhatsOnStage awards in 2018, Jim Steinman’s hit musical BAT OUT OF HELL returns to London’s West End to begin a run at the iconic Dominion Theatre on 3rd April.
Steinman has worked on his musical show, one way or another, for more than half a century… In fact, since he was a teenager — at the end of the 1960s. So his flamboyant stage-show reflects the contemporary issues of his time: when a society started to understand the significance of gang culture, adolescent anguish, free love and other countercultural notions. His original version of the show even contained other themes, such as barely-veiled protests about the drafting of teen-soldiers to Vietnam.
But deep down, Bat Out of Hell is purest rock ‘n’ roll: a stimulating story of two star-crossed lovers. It’s a tale freely taken from the legend of Peter Pan — Strat is the ever-young leader of a biker gang known as “The Lost” and is the Pan character while Raven is his Wendy. She’s the daughter of a tyrannical ruler and imprisoned above ground. The story is set in a post-apocalyptic Manhattan known as “Obsidian.”
Of course, the show is filled with the kind of rhetoric-filled bombast we have come to expect from Steinnman. As fans will know, each lengthy-song is a mini-operetta in its own right. And epic is probably the best word to use when describing the wonder and magic of Meat Loaf. So expect eulogies about virginity: ‘All Revved Up with No Place to Go’. Or songs about love options: ‘Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad‘ and impressive set-pieces such as: ‘Paradise by the Dashboard Light’ and the subtly Motownish ‘You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth’.
Stand-out songs were, for us, ‘Dead Ringer for Love‘ — this is the song that Cher helped to write and she also performed on the 1981 single. It’s a song that blasted from our car-speakers everywhere we went, back in the Eighties. And, of course, we also loved the 1977 show-tune ‘Bat Out of Hell’. It sentimentally recalls those tear-jerking teenage tragedy songs of the early 1960’s, like ‘Leader of the Pack’ and is a classic.
With its boundary pushing spectacles, thrilling musical moments and dramatic performances on a world-class level, this show is jam-packed with the hits made famous by Meat Loaf, and is an incredible ride.
And this show demonstrates the mendacity of those classic words: “Rock ‘n’ roll dreams come true…”
Bat Out Of Hell, the musical, returns to London in Spring 2018. Now at the Dominion Theatre.