BAT, 5*****, London

London
BAT OUT OF HELL
Book, music & lyrics by Jim Steinman
5*****

The Dominion Theatre, 268-269 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 7AQ booking to 27 October 2018.
Mon-Sat 7.30pm Mat Wed & Sat 2.30pm.
Runs 2hr 40 mins One interval.

TICKETS: 020 7927 0900
www.nederlander.co.uk/dominiontheatre
Review: William Russell 19 April.

Loud, exciting and a great night out
It really is one hell of a show. Having enjoyed a successful stint at the Coliseum last summer Jim Steinman’s splendid rock opera has returned in great shape with the same leads to take roost at the Dominion Theatre, a cavernous house which is surely its natural home. The plot doesn’t add up to much, but the songs – originally performed by Meatloaf – are marvellous and the energy level of the entire cast takes the breath away.
In Obsidian, one of those post apocalyptic Mad Max worlds once so fashionable, the city is ruled by Falco, a power obsessed property developer with a dissatisfied wife and a none too bright 18 year old daughter called Raven who just wants to live a little – in other words get laid. Outside in the tunnels beneath the city live the Lost – boys and girls, product of some dreadful pollution disaster are doomed to be 18 for ever, who are persecuted by Falco’s thugs. They also ride Harley Davidsons.

Their leader is Strat, played and sung with fervour by Andrew Polec, a washed out blonde demi god, a perfect Peter Pan figure Barrie being the inspiration for the tale. Strat has the hots for Raven, played by Christina Bennington, which upsets his little friend Tink, played by Alex Thomas-Smith, who loves him.

Raven reciprocates and Daddy goes bananas at the thought of Strat laying a hand on, indeed just laying, his precious child and mayhem ensures.

The plot is fine, if basically rubbish, but most opera plots are and rock operas are no exception to the rule. What matters is the music, the performances and the production – and no quibbles there. Polec is the star of the show, but Bonnnington makes an appealing Raven, and as her parents Rob Fowler and Sharon Sexton strut their adult stuff with style while Danielle Steers as Zahara one of the lost girl, who has a glorious voice, smoulders.
One does worry for their vocal chords with eight performances a week but there are alternates so others will play the leads from time to time, Given the high level of professionalism in the direction and staging that should make no different to the overall experience, other than that of some of the past their first flush ladies in the opening night audience who had clearly come to drool over Mr Polec.

Go, be deafened, be delighted. Last time round I gave it five stars and there is no reason to do otherwise than the same again. It is now, like those motor bikes, revving on all cylinders, and the result is truly a hot summer night.

Strat: Andrew Polec.
Raven: Christina Bennington.
Fa,co: Rob Fowler.
Sloane: Sharon Sexton/
Tink: Alex Thomas-Smith.
Zahara: Danielle Steers.
Jagwire: Wayne Robinson.
Ledoux: Giovanni Spano.
Blake: .Jonathan CordinWith – Kyle Anthony, Emily Benjamin, Christopher Cameron, Georgia Carling, Natalie Chua, Jonathan Cordin, Rob Copeland, Hannah Bucharme, Isaac Edwards, Jordan Luke Gage, Simon Gordon, Collette, Guitart, Eric Hallengren, Vicki Manser, Rhianne-Louise McCauley, Aston Newman Hannington, Eve Norris, Joseph Peacock, Kyle Roberts, Craig Ryder, Dawnita Smith, Courtney Stapleton, Julie Stark, Charlotte Anne Steen, Sam Toland.
At certain performances the role of Strat will be played by Simon Gordon or Jordan Luke Gage.

Director: Jay Scheib.
Choreographer: Emma Porter.
Musical Supervisions & additional arrangements: Michael Reed.
Set Designer: Jon Bauser.
Costume Designers: Jon Bausen & Meentje Nielsen.
Video Designer: Finn Ross.
Lighting Designer: Patrick Woodroffe.
Sound Designer: Gareth Owen.
Fight Director: Stuart Boother.

2018-04-21 15:44:49

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