Classic rock music never ages, which is undoubtedly true with the latest jukebox musical to reach Australian shores, Bat Out of Hell: The Musical. While it meets all the requirements of a musical, Bat Out of Hell is more of a tribute to the rock prowess of MeatLoaf and Jim Steinman.
As with other rock musicals before it (American Idiot, We Will Rock You), Bat Out of Hell explores forbidden love in a dystopian city, Obsidian. Like the lost boys in Peter Pan, Strat leads a gang of ‘The Lost’ who, having been forgotten by the world, are destined to live on forever as young people. Raven, whose father is the ruler of Obsidian, falls in love with Strat and plans to escape life and live forever with him. Of course, this upsets her father, Falco and anarchy reigns supreme.
Sound farfetched? Definitely, but no one is here for a hard-hitting drama. The music of Jim Steinman and Meatloaf defined a generation and is immortalised through this high-intensity show.
Originally opening at the London Coliseum, part of London’s West End theatre district, this Australian tour has taken to playing much larger spaces, Australia’s stadiums. There is just too much rock to be confined in a traditional theatre space.
Masterfully musical directed by Iestyn Griffiths, the tight band delivers this rock odyssey to perfection, really allowing the original vibe of the songs to shine bright. At times, feeling haphazardly thrown together, the out-of-era choreography pulls focus from the action, and the strange camera angles disconnects the audience from the storyline. However, unlike typical musical theatre, this show requires strong belting vocals, which the cast delivers in volumes.
Glenn Adamson playing Strat, makes Meatloaf proud with his adrenaline-driven version of Bat Out of Hell, while Kellie Gnauck playing Raven, fills the stadium with her emotional rendition of Heaven Can Wait. The rest of the cast also brings nodule-inducing vocals with rousing performances of You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth, Dead Ringer for Love and Objects in the Reave View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are. A special mention to Sloane, played by Sharon Sexton, for her powerhouse rendition of It’s All Coming Back to Me Now, which extended the female voice far beyond its original intention!
If you’re looking for a show where you can dust off your leathers and rock the night away, don’t miss Bat Out of Hell, coming to a stadium near you.
– The other Daniel Craig
Daniel Craig is a regular on the Sydney Arts scene after living, working, and performing in London. He has a long history with theatre, and when not dabbling in the arts (which rarely ever happens), he works in scientific research and loves to travel the world trying new gin. Follow him on all the socials @talldancraig
Bat out of Hell runs for 2 hours 30 minutes (including 20 min interval) and heads to Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne. Tickets are available through Ticketek.
Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of IP Publicity
Image credit: Supplied.