The sirens were screaming and their vocals were howling way down at the Manchester Opera House the other night…
As a HUGE Meatloaf fan and epic lover of musicals, I was looking forward to this so much. I was hoping for a great sound, fantastic set and a plausible plot. As the great man himself says, ‘Two Outta Three Ain’t Bad’.
I was sat underneath what has to have been the biggest speaker set that I’ve ever seen in a theatre – West End, Broadway or otherwise. That was an amazing experience, I have to say. The set build was incredible and I can easily see why they booked out the Opera House for so long to get their build in. For a regional theatre, this was some serious commitment to being in Manchester, and I have no doubt that if you went to see it on the West End, you’d get pretty much exactly the same experience.
Alas, the geeky tech specs are all that I can really endorse, and the superb vocal performances from Danielle Steers (Zhandra).
The plot is essentially the same as We Will Rock You, but not as well tied together. Now, I know that WWRY is often mocked for the lack of plot, and I am the one often defending that. For me to call out Bat Out Of Hell as having even less of a plot, should sound the warning bells.
It was overly violent, frequently uncomfortable and very difficult to follow. There was also a gay sub-plot between Tink and Strat, and as always seems to be the way, Tink was portrayed to have deep psychological issues and his ultimate fate comes via. his misguided love for Strat.
I’m certainly no prude but the skimpy outfits and constant and occasionally awkward scenes of sex were absolutely gratuitous and really didn’t need to be there.
There’s also a very graphic and uncomfortable torture scene at the start of Act Two.
Definitely not one for the kids!
The choreography initially had me buzzing – it was so good.Unfortunately the same tricks of the trade were repeated endlessly and it soon became tiresome.
I imagine this will get a limited run in the West End before being consigned to the proverbial musical ‘hell’. (see what I did there?). It’s a very tough market and I can’t imagine a sustained audience for it after the initial interest – certainly, I don’t imagine it will appeal to tourists. Saying that, a national tour of the US may be better suited.
I would do anything for my love of Meatloaf/Jim Steinman’s music, but I won’t endorse that!