Newcastle Theatre Royal, 26/07/2022
It’s time to get ready, even on this hot summer night, dust off that Harley Davidson jacket and don those Dr Marten boots as Bat Out Of Hell The Musical has roared into Newcastle on its first UK Tour! This critically acclaimed rock and roll jukebox musical set in a dystopian world tells the story of our stuck-in-time hero Strat (Glenn Adamson) who falls for Raven (Martha Kirby), the daughter of dictatorial leader Falco (Rob Fowler). The show, a cocktail of Romeo and Juliet, The Rocky Horror Show and Peter Pan is backed with a catalogue of Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf songs to thrill the audience. Read on for our five reasons to see Bat Out Of Hell The Musical
1. It’s as rock and roll as hell
After an unexpectedly calm opening soliloquy between Strat (Adamson) and Raven (Kirby), the show thunders into the catalogue of Meat Loaf hits barely pausing for breath. Every song you would expect is in the show, and performed at such a pace and volume that the experience isn’t far from a rock concert itself. This musical is unapologetically loud and that’s exactly how it should be. A further detail is that quite a large portion of the scenes and numbers are filled by an ensemble member with a large camcorder on their shoulder, with the footage live on a large screen at the back of the stage, it felt like a lot of the performance was a big music video you were part of.
2. There’s so much energy
The entire cast work extremely hard in this show and it really resonates in the spirit of the performance. Most numbers are choreographed with highly energetic routines to match the pace of the music and nobody is missing a beat. Early in the show ‘All Revved Up With No Place to Go’ is performed with such vitality that feeling is infectious throughout the auditorium which doesn’t go anywhere for the whole evening.
3. Glenn Adamson as Strat
Leading the ensemble and the whole storyline, the show’s very own Peter Pan is Strat, played on this tour by Glenn Adamson. While the whole cast are giving their all, Adamson’s energy is unmatched throughout, especially during the title number ‘Bat Out of Hell’ it looked at times like he may burst from the amount of guts he was putting into his performance; it was completely captivating and left the audience awestruck for the end of the first act. His acting and voice are perfect for the character, embodying the rock and roll persona that’s needed for such a role, it was hard to draw your eyes away from him whenever he was on stage.
4. It doesn’t take itself too seriously
For a show set in a post apocalyptic dystopian future where there’s gangs of youths that are stuck at 18 years old riding around on a Harley Davidson, there’s an amount that needs to be taken tongue-in-cheek. What’s great is that even those moments in the show that would feel insincere due to the themes, it is happy to poke fun at it’s own ‘serious’ parts with one-liners and funny nuances. The relationship between Falco (Fowler) and Sloane (understudy Laura Johnson in this performance) is a standout comedy duo part that is received so well as their song ‘Paradise By The Dashboard Light’ is full of hilarity, sexual connotations and surprise ‘reveals’ which is all met by raucous laughter and applause.
5. The songs were made to be performed this way
For some jukebox musicals, there’s a feeling that some hits can be “crowbarred” into the story, with lyrics and themes not making much sense. This rock and roll musical is quite the opposite as many of the songs on Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell albums were written in mind to be performed in a musical, with ‘Paradise by the Dashboard Light’, ‘Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad’ and ‘For Crying Out Loud’ all originally being written for a rock and roll Peter Pan musical Neverland which never saw the light of day past a week of performances in 1977. This all really adds to the flow of the story and the content of the lyrics all making sense together to form the rock and roll spectacular Bat Out of Hell The Musical!
This award winning musical is really one not to miss. The performances are stellar, the soundtrack is infectious and the show as a whole is a hell of a ride of fun, lights and music. From the biggest Meat Loaf and Steinman fans so those who only know a couple of songs, this musical caters for all with an engaging story and impressive set design. All you need to enjoy this musical is to be ready to rock and roll! Do anything for tickets… but don’t do that!
Bat Out of Hell The Musical is running at Newcastle Theatre Royal until Saturday 6th August before continuing to Bristol, Belfast, Dublin, Hull, Cardiff, Liverpool, Woking and London. Tickets are available by clicking here!