Previewed 5 June 2017, Opened 20 June 2017, Closed 22 August 2017 at the London Coliseum
The West End Premiere of the Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf stage musical Bat Out Of Hell in London for a strictly limited season
Join the eternally young Strat and his wild gang, The Lost, as they roam the streets of post-apocalyptic Obsidian, ruled by the tyrannical Falco. When Strat falls in love with Falco’s daughter, Raven, he sets out to rescue her in a full throttle tale of teenage love, youthful rebellion and living the rock‘n’roll dream.
A brand new stage musical written by Jim Steinman featuring Meat Loaf's greatest hits including I’d Do Anything for Love; Paradise by the Dashboard Light; Dead Ringer For Love; Two Out of Three Ain't Bad; and Bat Out of Hell.
The cast features Andrew Polec as 'Strat' and Christina Bennington as 'Raven', with Rob Fowler as 'Falco' and Sharon Sexton as 'Sloane', Aran MacRae as 'Tink', Danielle Steers as 'Zahara', Dom Hartley-Harris as 'Jagwire', Giovanni Spano as 'Ledoux' and Patrick Sullivan as 'Blake'. Music and lyrics by Jim Steinman with book by Jim Steinman and Stuart Beattie. Directed by Jay Scheib with choreography by Emma Portner, sets by Jon Bausor, costumes by Meentje Nielsen, video by Finn Ross, lighting by Patrick Woodroffe and sound by Gareth Owen.
When this production opened here at the London Coliseum in June 2017, Henry Hitchings in the London Evening Standard noted that "forty years on from its release, Meat Loaf's most famous album gets the blazing operatic treatment it undoubtedly deserves... The script may be thin, but the songs are never less than bombastic." Ann Treneman in the Times highlighted that "the engine of this is the music which remains epic... The choreography, by Emma Portner, is sharp but, at times, misfires. There are a few writhing moments that simply don't work and, at two hours and 45 minutes, including interval, it could use a trim. But, otherwise, it's all revved up, with some place to go. Vroom!" Andrew Johnson in the i Newspaper thought that "we need a new term - quantum theatre - to describe productions such as this which are terrible but brilliant at the same time... The plot is thin and clichéd and the dialogue - of which there's a fair amount in the first half - stilted... But what Jim Steinman lacks as a playwright he makes up as a songwriter... with their witty, knowing lyrics - given such bombast by Meatloaf - are here turned up to 11 with the musical theatre treatment. And just wow. It's part musical, part gig; it's loud, it's exhilarating and it blows your socks off." Ian Shuttleworth in the Financial Times described how "Jim Steinman has long been the Wagner of rock'n'roll, and now at last he presents his Ring in the way it always cried out to be seen, in a proper opera house and everything. Such is his way with his material that it already, right out of the box, feels like a classic... Even for those of us who aren't devotees, it's thrilling." Mark Lawson in the Guardian explained that "the best musicals have a compelling storyline, thrilling stage pictures and astonishing sounds. This show completely lacks the first, but what swagger and songs it has. As Steinman put it himself, Two Out of Three Ain't Bad." Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail said that "this cliched plot is so ill-told, it becomes peripheral. The only point of the evening is to hear some of the many hits written by Meat Loaf collaborator Jim Steinman... The acting, or more properly Jay Scheib’s direction, is beyond bad." Neil Norman in the Daily Express commented that "Jim Steinman's musical based on the mega-selling Meat Loaf album is rock and roll in extremis... the songs hold up and there is a pleasurable kick of familiarity... Better still they are delivered by performers who are fearless in their interpretation. I have rarely seen so many great singers on stage in the same production... Sexy, raucous, violent and occasionally touching, it is only let down by uninspired dance routines which consist of little more than stomping, pogoing and air-pumping fists. Sort that out and Bat Out Of Hell gets the five stars it deserves." Dominic Cavendish in the Daily Telegraph wrote that, "running to an overlong three hours, and cramming in greatest hits (and not so-great hits), Bat Out of Hell won't win awards for reinventing the musical... Yet to focus on its evident weaknesses is to miss the life-affirming point. The story is based on Peter Pan and the essential appeal is to our inner arrested adolescent."
Christina Bennington's West End theatre credits include the musical Show Boat at the New London Theatre in 2016. Sharon Sexton's London theatre credits include Billy Elliot the Musical at the Victoria Palace Theatre in 2015 and The Commitments at the Palace Theatre in 2013. Jim Steinman's theatre credits include the musical Whistle Down The Wind at the Aldwych Theatre in 1998 and the Palace Theatre in 2006.
"Bat Out of Hell is guaranteed to take the words right out of your mouth. As Jim Steinman's musical, based on Meat Loaf's album, is a loud, mad, in-parts-bad, jaw-dropping, stomp of an experience, it is likely they were X-rated anyway... The plot - as thin as Chinese soup - is loosely based on a nightmare retelling of Romeo and Juliet in post-apocalyptic Manhattan. Renegade Strat, leader of The Lost, is besotted with Raven, who is trapped by her vulgar parents. Her father, sleazy overlord Falco, lives in a tower named after him. Where do they get these ideas? A riot ensues - literally - and in an explosion of leather, bare flesh and huge hairdos this strange world heads for hell in a handcart - or the orchestra pit in a Chevy. This is the full Loaf." The Sunday Mirror
"I can't remember when I last saw a standing ovation at the interval. Sure, Jim Steinman's musical, based on his albums for Meat Loaf, is one for the fans begging to rock out, but it's not just for them. The show begins at full throttle and mostly keeps throttling... It's basically Peter Pan, with the untamed hero captivating the plutocrat's daughter. Cue epic cock-rock and angst ballads (I'll Do Anything for Love, whoop), freakoid choreography and some mighty voices. It's witty yet never underwrought: the title song splurges a tsunami of dry ice, plumes of fire, an exploding motorbike and a glitter cannon... Jay Scheib's staging has a Wagnerian bravura." The Sunday Times
"Whoever would expect that a musical set in an American city in the future - 2100 - could look, sound and feel so irresistibly, deliciously retro?.. This is a funny old show: screamingly camp, loud and proud... The narrative remains impenetrable, all revved up with no place to go, effortlessly putting the dire into dialogue... The stage is often invaded by a gang of over-enthusiastic gym bunnies in Goth sports kit, pumping away madly. Who cares. Jim Steinman has shoehorned the barnstorming anthems he wrote for Meat Loaf, plus some new lush, smoochy Lloyd Webbery numbers, into a belting and spectacular rock concert, noisy enough to make your kidneys vibrate (in a good way). It's blazingly lit by Patrick Woodroffe, with added pyrotechnics and enough electricity between the young lovers alone to blast the roof off this glorious theatre. It's shameless, it's fabulous, it's preposterous. So don't be sad. Two out of three ain't bad." The Mail on Sunday
The musical Bat Out Of Hell in London at the Coliseum previewed from 5 June 2017, opened on 20 June 2017 and closes on 22 August 2017