Breathing fresh air on the West End, Bat Out Of Hell is a ground-breaking production that is taking leaps for the evolution of musical theatre. With the music from Jim Steinman’s epic soundtrack Bat Out Of Hell, we are immersed in the rollercoaster romance of two star-crossed lovers.
The Dominion Theatre almost feels like the home of rock and roll in the West End due to the sheer scale and extremity of the production values. Taking staging to a new level, designer Jon Bausor has shown the West End how it’s done. The production is quite literally like stepping into another world.
With the multitude of levels, the innovative use of live camerawork follows the cast members through the detailed moments in the show, projecting it on the screens across the stage. This is superb as it both maintains the intimacy of the production and connection with the audience. It mirrors the futuristic ambience of the performance, whilst also providing completely different insight into the passionate scenes – it is a visual masterpiece.
The remarkable staging is matched by the ridiculous talent of the cast whose energy is at an unbelievable high. Every move has such intensity behind it and just when you think you’ve seen it all, the production gets even bigger. Director Jay Scheib has used his wildest imagination alongside other creatives to create a piece of theatre.
Telling the story of the fearless, forever young Strat (Andrew Polec) who falls for the oppressed daughter of the head of police Raven (Christina Bennington). When Raven turns 18 she is desperate to leave Falco tower and escape her over-powering parents and experience life for herself, and Strat gives her the confidence to do so.
Andrew Polec’s performance is like nothing I’ve ever witnessed on stage before. His whole body goes into expressing the fiery character of Strat. The strength of his emotions are completely convincing, and this characterisation mixed with the power of his vocals create a stage presence that is off the scale. Gripped onto his every word, it is almost as if the role was created for him.
His chemistry with Raven, played by Christina Bennington, is entirely captivating. Bennington has encapsulated the complexity of the character who is full of curiosity for the outside world excellently. Her immense passion and desperation for freedom are displayed through her emotionally charged vocals.
Continuing her role as the sassy and fiery Zahara, Danielle Steers is a force to be reckoned with. Every time she opens her mouth to sing, the audience are struck with a performance that is nothing short of exquisite. Showcasing sensational riffs stellar belts, she has a vocal power that can be unmatched. Alongside her, her love interest Jagwire played by Wayne Robinson who gives a high-powered performance. Their duet Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad is theatrical in every way.
Bringing even more fire to the stage with heated duets are Raven’s parents Falco (Rob Fowler) and Sloane (Sharon Sexton). They give a fervent performance flipping from ardent love to raged conflict with their clashing personalities. All their duets are extraordinary, but Paradise By The Dashboard Light is a musical number that should go down in history for its striking vocals and creative staging.
Every single member of the cast are exceptionally strong which is displayed through their powerhouse vocals, and slick tight movement. Ensemble numbers such as All Revved Up With No Place To Go, Wasted Youth and Dead Ringer For Love create an unforgettable atmosphere. Choreographer Emma Portner has charged her choreography with teenage rebellion and uncontrollable emotions to create electric and dynamic musical numbers.
It’s incredibly refreshing to see a musical that feels contemporary, entirely fresh and innovative in every way. Bat Out Of Hell is an out of this world experience that will leave you all revved up for more revolutionary musical theatre.
On at the Dominion Theatre in the West End, tickets and information can be found online here.