Bat is back and is better than ever.
Moving to the Dominion after a stint in Toronto, the tweaks and subtle changes to squeeze this spectacular onto smaller stages have resulted in a slicker, smoother show that never ceases to amaze.
The plot – Peter Pan in a dystopian future – is as whacky as ever, with Strat, the leader of the genetically frozen Lost (who never age once they reach 18) falling for Raven, the daughter of Falco the dictator of Obsidian, causing Falco to go to extreme and violent lengths to protect his precious princess. There are plot holes aplenty, but who cares? The loyal fanbase have discussed and developed detailed and intriguing backstories for the characters, and it’s easy to see why – the world of Obsidian just sucks you in and takes you on a wild ride set to the magnificent music of Jim Steinman.
Andrew Polec was born for this role – with a voice that can burst your eardrums with its power, but also break your heart with its vulnerability. His performance is wild, weird and wonderful, paired brilliantly with Christina Bennington as Raven – switching between rock diva and angelic choirgirl in a breath and bringing a satisfying fire and aggression to the relationship dynamic. After performing together over the last year, the onstage relationship between Falco and Sloane has evolved into near perfection. Their barnstorming comedy numbers (Who Needs the Young and Paradise by the Dashboard Light) are amazing, but their emotional power in What Part of My Body Hurts the Most is breath-taking, and it is always a highlight of the show. Alex Thomas-Smith is sweet as Tink, Danielle Steers continues to bring the house down with her smoky powerhouse vocals, and Wayne Robinson, Giovanni Spano and Jonathan Cordin (standing in for Patrick Sullivan) will make the stiffest of upper lips wobble with their glorious rendition of Objects in the Rear-View Mirror.
The energy onstage is off the scale, and it is tempting to jump up and whoop after every number, with regular standing ovations after the first act finale – Bat Out Of Hell performed as if possessed by the entire pantheon of rock gods. Emma Portner’s choreography fits perfectly into the futuristic tribal vibe, full of humour and opportunities for every member of the cast to showcase their moves.
Bat Out Of Hell is one of the best musicals I’ve ever seen. Trust me, you’ll want to book another ticket as you leave the theatre. OTT, brilliant and bonkers, with visual thrills and stunning vocals, Bat Out Of Hell is a theatrical orgasm that will leave you gasping for air and begging for more.