Review: This evocative evening is a perfect tribute to Meat Loaf
Strat and Raven roar into Wimbledon. Credit - Chris Davis Studio
We reviewed this amazing show before the sad death of Meat Loaf. This production of Bat Out Of Hell stands as a perfect tribute to the legendary rock star.
As a group of leather-clad bikers circled around the streets by New Wimbledon Theatre on their Harley Davidsons, you could be forgiven for thinking it wasn't January, but a Hot Summer Night in SW19.
The roaring sound of these powerful engines was a perfect warm-up for Jim Steinman’s spectacular musical Bat Out Of Hell, which runs at Wimbledon until January 29.
The show bursts into life as Strat (Glenn Adamson), the leader of rebellious teenage gang 'The Lost' leads a protest against the tyrannical leader of Obsidian, Falco (Rob Fowler).
Strat, who is frozen in time at the age of 18, catches the eye of Falco's beautiful daughter Raven. But her parents forbid Raven from leaving Falco Towers to run riot with Strat and his gang in the subway tunnels the gang call home.
As this out-of-this world romance develops, it's set to the musical backdrop of the legendary anthems of Jim Steinman and Meat Loaf including hits such as I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That), Paradise By The Dashboard Light, Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad, Dead Ringer For Love and Bat Out of Hell.
The entire cast have amazing voices, with the group dance scenes demonstrating their athleticism as well as their musicality. The more mature members of the company were equally energetic, with Rob Fowler as Falco stealing the show with his real-life partner Sharon Sexton as Raven's drink-loving mother, Sloane.
Falco and Sloane were at the centre of the show's humorous moments, which I hadn't really been expecting, but helped make for a truly memorable evening. My highlight was the duo's raunchy rendition of Paradise By The Dashboard Light - a reminder of their own teenage passion and what was to follow in their lives.
Fowler has been in the show since it first began touring in 2017 and several members of the audience had seen him play the role for nearly three months at the London Coliseum in 2018.
A handful of the audience dressed up for the part, sporting their own versions of the black leather jackets worn by 'The Lost'. All this added to the brash and exciting atmosphere.
Martha Kirby was a bewitching Raven, with Joelle Moss (Zahara) and James Chisholm (Jagwire) the standout performers of the rest of the cast.
Mention must also go to the special effects, including the clever use of video to give two aspects to several parts of the show. It goes without saying that the band, led by Robert Emery, were also key to this evocative musical.
New Wimbledon Theatre
Tue 18 Jan - Sat 29 Jan 2022
93 The Broadway, Wimbledon, London SW19 1QG, UK
Mon - Sat at 7.30pm
Thu and Sat at 2.30pm
Fri at 5pm
Age guidance Recommended for ages 13+ due to strong language and scenes of a sexual nature.
At home with Falco and Sloane. Credit - Chris Davis Studio
By Sue Choularton
January 20, 2022