|re: Another review... ("Regional theatre review")|
||daveake 02:46 am MST 03/17/17|
|In reply to:||Another review... ("Regional theatre review") - angie 02:33 am MST 03/17/17|
> Regional theatre review: Bat Out of Hell, The Musical
> Date Posted: 16/03/2017
> Sarah Holt explains why you don’t have to be a Meatloaf
> fan to enjoy Bat Out of Hell, The Musical.
> If you’re not a Meatloaf fan you might wonder why they’d
> make a musical out of the rock legend’s songs.
> By the time you leave the theatre after watching Bat Out
> of Hell, you’ll wish they’d done it sooner.
> Set in a post-apocalyptic New York, the show follows the
> story of star crossed lovers Strat and Raven. Strat is the
> leader of a group of human ‘mutants’, who live rough on
> the streets of the city, and will never age beyond 18.
> Raven is the daughter of the city’s rich and
> over-protective law-enforcer, Falco, whose family have
> never knowingly let her venture outside Falco Towers;
> their luxurious and super secure skyscraper home that
> overlooks the chaotic slums where Strat and his friends
> Through a number of occasions when Raven has crept out of
> her room to explore the city, she and Strat have forged a
> relationship. Falco is intent on preventing it.
> The first impressive thing about this production is the
> set. The design makes the stage of Manchester’s Opera
> House look cavernous. At the opening of Act One, Ground
> Zero-type girders reach out at the audience from the
> stage, static fizzes on broken television screens, and a
> Harley – with its bull horn handle bars – waits for its
> rider in the centre of the scene.
> The way Falco Towers has been designed, meanwhile, makes
> it look like there really is a skyscraper sprouting out of
> the stage. You’d be forgiven for thinking some sort of
> seismic activity had shifted the foundations of
> Manchester’s Hilton a few hundred metres right into the
> middle of the stage.
> And it only gets better. As the show goes on, a table
> converts into a Cadillac. Said Cadillac is sucked into a
> sinkhole in the stage floor, and a water-filled sewer
> swallows a man whole – sucking him in like a noodle – only
> to spit him out again in a different outfit a few seconds
> If the actors in the show weren’t talented enough, the
> technical effects might outshine them. But this cast has
> calibre. The producers and directors have not fallen into
> the regional theatre trap of hiring a celebrity to lead
> the cast. Everyone involved in this production has been
> recruited for merit rather than fame.
> The singers’ voices sounded like they’d been auto-tuned
> the moment they came out of their mouths. Christina
> Bennington (Raven) gives a flawless performance of Heaven
> Can Wait, while Danielle Steer’s syrupy soulful voice
> grabs you by the jugular during numbers like Two Out of
> Three Aint Bad.
> The dancers are something to write home about too. The
> choreography is a swag bag of styles; mixing everything
> from break dance and ballet to lindy hop. Routines
> involving the full cast made the entire auditorium quake.
> Another thing that’s refreshing about this show is the
> fact that it’s not been sugar coated. Despite having a
> Shakespearean-style love story at its heart, the musical
> should have some sort of PG rating. There are sex scenes,
> a lynching, electrocutions, and a motorcycle accident that
> leads to a pretty life-like wound.
> The producers must have given the theatre’s health and
> safety team a few sleepless nights, too, because this show
> features pyrotechnics, flames, strobes, and almost as many
> loud bands as Hogmanay.
> In terms of the plotline, the story that unfolds between
> Strat and Raven is entertaining. However, it’s the
> relationship that plays out between Raven’s parents Falco
> and Sloane that’s even more compelling. It’s more show
> than tell. The What Part of My Body Hurts the Most duet
> between Rob Fowler (Falco) and Sharon Sexton (Sloane) left
> me winded.
> As the production edged closer to its finale the audience
> were having more and more of a concert-style reaction to
> the musical numbers. Whistles and drum-like applause came
> after I’d Do Anything for Love and It’s All Coming Back to
> Me Now. By the end of the show, every single audience
> member was out of their seat. The standing ovation was
> like nothing I’ve seen in a theatre before. It was more
> like something from the O2.
> And not just because the theatre was filled with Meatloaf
> fans. The combination of power songs, visceral storylines,
> and striking visual effects means that this is a musical
> anyone can enjoy. And, until the equivalent opens in
> London in the summer, it’s well worth making the trip up
> north for.
> Bat Out of Hell, The Musical is showing at Manchester
> Opera House until the end of April when it will transfer
> to the West End. For more information visit
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