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Jacqueline 03:17 am MST 03/15/17
In reply to: Manchester Evening News 5 star review! - Jacqueline 02:48 am MST 03/15/17


REVIEW | Bat Out Of Hell the Musical

Amy / 15th March 2017

Jim Steinman’s epic soundtrack Bat Out Of Hell is brought to life through a rock and roll love story. Bat Out Of Hell the Musical is the most groundbreaking production I have witnessed on stage. The production values are out of this world, and it is a show that has taken a huge leap forwards to create a extraordinary piece of musical theatre that is guaranteed to leave you all revved up. 

Manchester’s Opera House has been transformed into an epic dystopian world. It is like literally stepping into another world as they create the most powerful set theatre has ever seen. Using every inch of the stage, they have a multitude of levels – but the intimacy isn’t lost. Their innovative use of live camerawork follows the cast members and is projected on the many screens across the stage which works excellently. It mirrors the futuristic ambience of the performance, whilst also providing completely different insight into the passionate scenes – it is a visual masterpiece.

The tremendous staging is matched by the unbelievable talent of the cast. It’s the story of love, passion and teenage angst. It’s a Romeo and Juliet love story, as the fearless forever young youth Strat (Andrew Polec) falls for the oppressed daughter of the head of police Raven (Christina Bennington), who is desperate to leave Falco tower and escape her over-powering parents and experience life for herself.

Leading the cast Andrew Polec gives every inch of himself to express the fiery character of Strat. His performance is completely mind-blowing and entirely mesmerising. The power of his vocals mixed with the intensity of his characterisation and his commanding stage presence is off the scale. This is reflected through his captivating chemistry with Raven, played by Christina Bennington. Bennington captures the immense passion and desperation for freedom exceptionally whilst belting out the emotionally charged numbers – her vocals are nothing less than flawless.

Also displaying phenomenal vocals are Danielle Steers as the feisty Zahara, and Dom Hartley-Harris as Jagwire. Absolutely blowing the roof off with their sensational riffs and unbelievable belts, their duet Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad is theatrical in every way. The production itself is bursting with heated duets, and Raven’s parents Falco (Rob Fowler) and Sloane (Sharon Sexton) give a fervent performance flipping from ardent love to raged conflict, as they struggle to maintain their marriage.

Every single performance from every member of the cast is electrically strong which is displayed through their powerhouse vocals and slick, tight movement. Director Jay Scheib has used his wildest imagination alongside other creatives to create a piece of theatre that portrays teenage rebellion in a completely out of this world way.

Bat Out Of Hell isn’t just a musical, it’s an experience.

5 Stars- *****

On at the Manchester Opera House until the 8th of April before transferring to the London’s Coliseum Theatre from the 5th July 2017.

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> Review: Bat Out of Hell The Musical at Manchester Opera
> House
> Impressive staging, clever production and a back catalogue
> of hits ensure the Meat Loaf musical is a smash hit
> ***** 5 out of 5 stars
> While it's known as one of the most iconic rock albums of
> our time, Meat Loaf’s Bat out of Hell was originally
> written as a musical by king of the power ballad, Jim
> Steinman.
> Now, 40 years on, his work is brought memorably to life as
> a raucous rock opera for a world premiere run here
> at Manchester Opera House - and boy, have the team gone
> hell for leather with this one.
> This is a truly staggering piece of musical theatre, which
> breaks new boundaries in its staging, choreography and
> concept on an epic scale, that during a month of preview
> shows at the Opera House has already been winning an army
> of devoted fans.
> It is not hard to see why more than 25,000 people have
> already booked to see this extravaganza - and why I
> suspect many thousands more will come to this musical in
> the months and years to come.
> This is a veritable feast for the eyes at every twist and
> turn of what is a dark, daring and provocative work
> sharply directed by Jay Schieb.
> In an age when big names are often deemed more important
> than star presence in a musical, it’s refreshing to watch
> a cast where every single person on stage, without
> exception, delivers a five-star performance (watch out for
> the staggering trio of vocalists on Objects in the Rear
> View Mirror for proof of that).
> Although in leading man and newcomer Andrew Polec, a true
> star is born.
> From his menacing opening monologue on stage, Polec brings
> an unnerving and intoxicating intensity to the role of
> Strat, the lost boy leader of a sub-culture where wild
> teen rebels stay 18 forever in the post-apocolyptic
> landscape of Obsidian.
> With flashes of Sid Vicious, Iggy Pop, and the flamboyant
> strut of Meat Loaf himself, the raw, pulsating energy and
> vocal dexterity of Polec in this role is quite
> extraordinary. His love story with Christine Bennington as
> Raven bristles with electricity and delivers stunning
> vocal duets on those big, meaty Meat Loaf masterpieces.
> And he helps roar the musical into raucous life, revving
> up a Harley Davidson as the Wasted Youth perform their
> curling, writhing and pounding dance moves around the
> stage.
> With Gollum-like intensity (well, Gollum with a gym pass)
> his brooding eyes lock on innocent ingenue Raven, daughter
> of fearsome overlord Falco (Rob Fowler) who aims to
> protect her from the outside world in his version of an
> ivory tower at their palatial home with suffocating
> clutches.
> It is impressively created on stage with use of a huge
> video screen and on-stage camera man to create a Big
> Brother-esque reality show within a show in Raven’s
> bedroom. It's just one special part of a multi-layered set
> brought spectacularly to the Opera House by designer Jon
> Bausor.
> Falco’s world-weary relationship with partner Sloane
> (Sharon Sexton) brings an injection of humour, and one of
> the show’s most jaw-dropping sequences as they frolic (to
> the embarrassment of their daughter) in an old cadillac
> which she pushes all the way off stage into the orchestra
> pit.
> The unconventional love stories are completed by the
> stunning Danielle Steers as Zahara and Dom Hartley-Harris
> as the lovelorn Jagwire. Their first half duet to Two Out
> of Three Ain't Bad is impressive enough, but the second
> half’s thrilling Dead Ringer to Love could not have been
> more exciting if even Cher and Meat Loaf themselves had
> burst through the bar doors.
> The musical cleverly reaches its peak by delivering two of
> Meat Loaf’s biggest hits - It’s All Coming Back to Me Now
> and I Would Do Anything For Love at the end of the show -
> ensuring the crowd are well and truly whipped into a
> finale frenzy.
> Although the opening night audience don’t even wait for
> the cast to return to stage for the curtain call to leap
> to their feet for a standing ovation.
> This is, quite simply, the best show you’re likely to see
> in Manchester all year. And as it’s running at the Opera
> House until April 8 there are really no excuses - get a
> ticket here while you can before this extravaganza moves
> to the West End.

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