Celebrating the Power of Love
FROM THE LANCASHIRE TELEGRAPH
IT'S a show that has been over 40 years in the making but boy has it been worth waiting for.
Bat Out of Hell is a sexy, spectacular success; a rollicking rock and roll ride celebrating the power of love and its ability to conquer all.
It's packed with the powerhouse hits of Jim Steinman, brought to life by a relatively unknown young cast who pull off the impossible - not once during the show will you think of Meat Loaf.
The show looks and sounds magnificent. Set at some indeterminate time in the future The Lost live in the disused subways, they are genetic mutants destined to never grow old. The city is controlled by the despot Falco whose own daughter Raven is about to turn 18.
The storyline - Romeo and Juliet meets Blade Runner - is a little bit bonkers at times but just go with it. This is a show where rock and roll is the life force, it's not supposed to be Shakespeare.
In all its years, the Opera House hasn't seen anything like it. A dystopian city rises into the rafters. Roaring motorbikes cross the stage, solid walls suddenly disappear to reveal hidden rooms, live action is projected on to the sides of buildings, flames leap high into the air. Bat Out of Hell sets new standards in what can be achieved in a live show.
The irony is that when Jim Steinman first came up with the concept, such a visually stunning spectacle would not have been technically possible.
Andrew Polec plays Strat, the leader of the Lost, a wild-eyed Iggy Pop-like figure who oozes charisma and sex appeal. Christina Bennington as Raven is the confused teen who falls for the bad boy against her parents' wishes. At times there are shades of Grease, albeit a very dark and warped version of it.
The Lost look like the coolest gang ever and vocally add so much to the show with brilliant harmonies.
Rob Fowler as Falco and Sharon Sexton as his wife Sloane really catch the eye as a couple for whom the love has started to fade.
Their version of Paradise By The Dashboard Light - complete with radio announcer and Cadillac convertible - was one of the stand-out moments of a night packed with showstopping moments.
And special mention to Danielle Steers as Zahara and Dom Hartley-Harris as Jagwire who nailed Two Out of Three Ain't Bad and Dead Ringer For Love.
Hidden in the depths of the Opera House a full blown rock band drives the show forward. This is not your normal theatre show - and that's a good thing.
Sure the storyline is a little confused and a little cliched at times, but there is a genuine storyline there. This isn't some generic jukebox musical which just belts out the hits.
Bat Out of Hell is a rock and roll celebration. In parts it's funny, it's touching and it's loud. It's a rock opera and it needs to be over the top. Director Jay Scheib has created something special. Catch it while you can before it heads off into the West End.