You are never sure whether a show will live up to its ecstatic review quotes on posters – will it really be as “jaw-dropping” as they say? Well, Bat out of Hell certainly lived up to the hype, it was brilliant!
A matinee always feels a bit decadent and seems a strange choice for a loud foot-stomping rock show, but it was a fantastic event that left you buzzing as you left the London Coliseum to join the tourist crowds on this sweltering hot Thursday.
Everyone knows at least one of Meatloaf’s songs from the album Bat out of Hell, but this is a fascinating way to hear them in the context of an age-old love story. Bad boy Strat is leader of The Lost, the teenagers who live in the underworld of Obsidian and never grow older than 18, and the good girl is Raven, soon to reach her 18th birthday, daughter of Commander In Chief Falco who wants to destroy The Lost.
A fantastic set makes full use of hi-tech effects with reflections on screens showing the interior of Raven’s house as we watch the dangerously-attractive teenagers below ground. Full throttle sound of motorbikes on stage, singers and exciting dance routines and, of course, an incredible band recreating the superb Meatloaf songs – they got their own standing ovation at the end of the show.
We loved the exploding motorbike, the car pushed into the pit (followed by 3 musicians staggering out with battered instruments and a bent baton!), and Falco’s re-emergence from under the water complete with microphone! It was a brilliant experience not to be missed, and with the average age of this audience meaning they remembered the music the first time around, a must-see for Silver Travellers. OK, so the underlying plot is a standard love story, but it was a perfect context to show how incredible Meatloaf’s lyrics and score is even today. I am sure we will bore our friends for ages with descriptions of the show.
We have had Abba songs woven into Mama Mia! And now Meatloaf’s Bat out of Hell, so what next? Bon Jovi’s songs could work in the same way…just a thought for the music directors.
(Booked in advance through Londontheatre.co.uk)