Bat Out of Hell at the Dominion Theatre
By Laura Ewing
★★★★★ (5 stars)
If you love a musical, but want to see something creative, fresh and exhilarating, then Bat Out of Hell should be at the top of your list. Jim Steinman’s highly acclaimed (and very loud) production has now opened at the Dominion Theatre, following its premiere run at the London Coliseum last year.
The drama is set in a dystopian future, where the suppressed daughter of a prosperous overlord named Falco and an 18-year-old mutant called Strat fall in love. The catch? Strat and his fellow mutants will never age thanks to the effects of a chemical war instigated by the supreme dictator. Falco’s child, Raven, has been caged up in the grandeur of the family’s tower, watching her parents’ marriage disintegrate. This storyline, whilst sometimes mind-boggling, creates the perfect foundation for a highly charged rock ‘n’ roll musical.
The cast – led by the talented Andrew Polec as Strat and Christina Bennington as Raven – certainly do not disappoint, belting out goosebump-inducing renditions of Meatloaf classics such as For Crying Out Loud and, of course, Bat Out of Hell. The leading lady’s parents, played by Rob Fowler and Sharon Sexton, are also spellbinding, stealing the show with thrilling duets such as What Part Of My Body Hurts The Most.
The rest of the cast – including Danielle Steers, Wayne Robinson and Giovanni Spano – give equally impressive performances of songs including Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are and Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad.
All elements of this energetic show – from staging and special effects to vocals and music – come together to blow away the audience with a musical production like no other. Yes, it is a little on the unusual side, but you can expect an abundance of adrenaline and amazing displays from a brilliant cast.
Audiences who are used to traditional musical theatre may be overwhelmed by Bat Out of Hell at first, but by the time the curtain comes everyone will be buzzing from the drama that has just unfolded in front of them. True to its name, the show is absolutely batty, but it’s hard not to love.