Rachel Howells reviews Bat Out of Hell, The Award-winning hit musical featuring Jim Steinman & Meat Loaf’s Greatest Hits at Cardiff’s New Theatre.
We arrived at Cardiff’s New Theatre to the revving of several Harley Davidson Motorcycles as they were making their way around the outskirts of the building. The spectacle could only mean that we were indeed at the correct venue for the opening night and Wales premiere of Bat Out of Hell.
We entered the theatre as the safety curtain rose to reveal a simple vision of the vine and microphone stand, plus a few people milling around on stage.
Opening with a bang, Bat Out of Hell follows the adventures of Strat, the forever young leader of the rebellious gang ‘The Lost’ as he falls in love with Raven, the beautiful daughter of Falco, the tyrannical ruler of Obsidian.
Glenn Adamson is instantly likable as Strat and throughout the first song we are introduced to the different characters in the show including Martha Kirby’s Raven, with whom Strat’s on-stage chemistry works, particularly well and the tyrannical leader, Falco (Rob Fowler).
Glenn Adamson’s Strat steals the show with his performance of Jim Steinman’s Bat out of Hell at the end of the first half gaining him a Standing ovation from the audience.
While Rob Fowler’s Falco is the baddie, he is portrayed with a likable side. The relationship between Falco and Slone (Laura Johnson) is up and down throughout the show, but the pair bring hilarity, physicality, and fabulous vocals to Who Needs the Young? and Paradise by the Dashboard Light.
As a complete presentation Bat Out of Hell cleverly incorporates many of Jim Steinman’s classic songs into the storyline and incorporates many of his famous big ballads into the second act. The choreography is also unique incorporating a variety of styles that compliment rock ballads.
Clever staging means that all areas of the stage were used during most of the show. Even the more secluded areas such as stage side were projected on screens via TV cameras. I found this to be effective and made the musical feel a lot more futuristic.
A show that rocks from start to finish, Bat Out of Hell has plenty of Wow factor and will blow you away with every guitar lick.
- Bat Out of Hell runs at Cardiff’s New Theatre until Saturday October 1. Visit the New Theatre website for ticket availability.
- Read Andy Howells interview with Glenn Adamson.