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"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Friday, June 09, 2017

Bat Out Of Hell: The Musical...

Last night Stuart and I went to see Bat Out Of Hell: The Musical at the Coliseum in London's glitzy West End.

Synopsis: Dreadful script. Campy acting. Ambitious staging. Brilliant singing. Fantastic songs.

While it is known as one of the most iconic rock albums of our time, Meat Loaf’s Bat Out Of Hell was originally written as a musical back in 1977 by king of the power ballad, Jim Steinman. Now, 40 years on, his work is brought memorably to life as a raucous rock opera - and boy, have the team gone hell for leather (pun intended) with this one.

First, the bad stuff. The script is dire. If any words should fill you with dread it's, "Our story takes place in a dystopian future..." But wait, there's more... "as you join the eternally young Strat (Andrew Polec) and his wild gang, The Lost, while they roam the streets of post-apocalyptic Obsidian, ruled by the tyrannical Falco (Rob Fowler) and his wife Sloane (Sharon Sexton). When Strat falls in love with Falco’s daughter, Raven (Christina Bennington), he sets out to rescue her in a full throttle tale of teenage love, youthful rebellion and living the rock‘n’roll dream." So far, so 'We Will Rock You'.

Yes, we are in full-on ham territory. At times the oft teased line "Would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?" line seemed positively Shakespearean by comparison to the gloriously shouted, "let your heart race faster, until it catches up with MINE!".

The staging was good though; acrobatics, live filming, dancing, pyrotechnics, 50 foot high projections, motorbikes, cars, flames, smoke... it was all going on.

And the pace was breath-taking as the cast tore through Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf’s greatest hits belting out I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That), Paradise by the Dashboard Light, Dead Ringer For Love, and Bat Out of Hell. In fact, the singing was pretty much damned flawless throughout.

Sure, it was all a bit Rocky Horror at times, (if that comparison does not flatter it too much) and the script did make you cringe. However, after 40 years it was about time Bat Out Of Hell made it off the starting blocks.

Did we needed it? Yes. Did we want it? Yes. But were we ever going to love it? No. So Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad.

The song set-list was:-

Act One
Love and Death and an American Guitar
All Revved Up with No Place to Go / The Opening Of The Box / Everything Louder Than Everything Else / If It Ain't Broke, Break It
Who Needs the Young?
Life Is A Lemon And I Want My Money Back (excerpt)
Out of the Frying Pan (And Into the Fire) (prelude)
It Just Won't Quit
Out of the Frying Pan (And Into the Fire)
Two Out of Three Ain't Bad
Paradise by the Dashboard Light
The Invocation
Bat Out of Hell

Act Two
In the Land of the Pig, the Butcher Is King
Heaven Can Wait
Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are
Teenager In Love
For Crying Out Loud
You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night)
I've Been Dreaming Up a Storm Lately
Not Allowed to Love
What Part of My Body Hurts the Most
Dead Ringer for Love
Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through
It's All Coming Back to Me Now
I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)
Finale (Bat Out Of Hell reprise)


8 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Did you actually go to the show? Firstly Falco was played by the amazing Rob Fowler...Raven by the talented Christina Bennington and Sloane by the awesome Sharon Sexton. So aside from naming Andrew Polec as Strat the only thing you got right was your "copy and paste" from Wikipedia or whichever site it was you Googled!(You only had to look in the programme).That and the fact that the cast are fantastic as is the whole show.and it gets better every time you see it.
    You quite obviously missed the sold out performance on Friday evening..where every song was greeted with rapturous applause and the show finished with a full standing ovation.
    If you plan to critique fantastic shows like this at least get your facts straight and in all honesty if you have nothing good to say then say nothing at all.
    Let the audience make up its own mind as to whether it succeeds which all indications are that it will..its played to packed audiences in Manchester and now London and Toronto is waiting with baited breath.
    The fact that this has been 40 Years in the making surely answers your questions..Did we need It? YES. Did we want it? Yes. We're we ever going to love it? A resounding Yes...
    So On A Hot Summers Night Will You Offer Your Throat To The Wolf With The Red Roses??? OHHH Yes.....and I bet you've said that to all the boys

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    1. Anonymous8:28 am

      Well said Mark. Totally agree. I saw the show in Manchester(3 times) AMAZING from start to finish.

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  3. A thin piece of pseudo-journalism.

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  4. Anonymous9:42 am

    This is why we have critics- so that we can ger a diverse reaction to a show. It seems to me that (rather like myself) thìs guy set out to not like it. The difference is that i can admit when I'm wrong.

    Naming key members the cast incorrectly? Poor journalism. You will do well in rhe tabloids but don't expect to be taken seriously or have your opinion valued without a little more neutrality and a LOT more journalistic skills...

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  5. Anonymous10:44 am

    I'm all for opinions but a bit of background reading may have helped in this case. The music and songs are exactly where they intended to be originally - on the stage. Also you've somehow got half the wrong cast on your list. I was amazed by the show and as an avid theatre goer it's up there with the best.

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  6. This is not a critic. Lazy bedroom journalist at best.
    Tip number one: DO YOUR RESEARCH!!!!

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  7. Tip number two: learn what 'synopsis' means.

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