June 24th 2017
Today I watched Bat Out Of Hell: The Musical in London with my family. Somewhat surprisingly, we’ve always been big Meatloaf fans. We went to see him live in concert when I was like ten (not really an appropriate concert for a ten year old) so of course, when we heard there was going to be a Musical based on his songs, we jumped straight on that. Although I guess technically, they aren’t his songs. It’s Jim Steinman’s Bat Out Of Hell, The Musical. Jim Steinman was the songwriter and composer, and Meatloaf was the performer who popularised them.
It’s not technically Meatloaf’s name on the poster, but it was the Meatloaf Musical to us. It’s weird, we went in not having a clue what it was going to be about. We didn’t know if it was just a concert, a tribute, a performance on the album, or a stage show with plot and narrative. It turned out to be a stage show and there was definitely… at least some plot and narrative.
The plot was… thin. It seemed to be a dystopian, musical, rock and roll retelling of Peter Pan, but I couldn’t tell if that was intentional. There were this group of boys called ‘The Lost’ (see….?) who couldn’t age and were eternally 18 (see…?) – apart from the younger, blonder boy called ‘Tink’ (that’s not even subtle). Tink has a bit of a crush on Strat, the show’s lead. Strat (as in -ocaster, I’m guessing) has a crush on Raven, whose Dad is a bit worried about her growing up, Mum is also there but she’s a bit nicer (think Captain Hook and Mr Smee)
You can fill in the first half from that information, basically. Strat and Raven love each other but can’t be together because of Daddy.
Tink gets really jealous of Strat and Raven (read also: Peter and Wendy) and betrays them. And then there’s an accident and Tink dies trying to save Strat’s life (in Peter Pan, Tinkerbell doesn’t die saving Peter, that’s not very Disney, but she does get crushed by rubble)
Although Strat is mortified, and angry at Raven for her involvement in Tink’s death, in the end, Strat and Raven end up together, and her Dad falls into a crocodile pit or something.
So yeah, the plot was Peter Pan, but the music was fantastic.
Everything was really big. Fireworks and confetti and flaming motorbikes and dance troupes, but they managed to have some really intimate moments for the duets. The two lead couples, Strat and Raven and Mum and Dad were both fantastic, and the songs carried the show.
It helped my enjoyment that I knew all of the songs, because I’ve grown up listening to them. We were all up and dancing for basically every song. Particularly Paradise By The Dashboard Light, Bat Out Of Hell and I Would Do Anything For Love.
All in all, it was a fabulously fun show, and we all had a great time.
Until tomorrow, there’s always gonna be some light.